Reema Sengupta's Study Blog for RCP


Posted in Study Diary by reemasenguptacmp on November 11, 2009

Until very recently, I wasn’t very sure where I was heading with the research. I felt like my research was becoming more lateral than linear and may not lead to one conclusion. I had started researching on my topics of interesting and picked up anything else I found interesting as and when I came across them. I had to read through all my blogs and questions to realise that all of them converged at one point- ‘Brand Hitchcock’, how Hitchcock’s reputation built over the years. On contemplation I realised that this answered a very fundamental question I had raised at the beginning of the research process- Why Vertigo received more appreciation when it was re-released. The question was a simple one but required the in-depth analysis of a lot of factors and contexts, which incidentally, I had already analysed.



Posted in Study Diary by reemasenguptacmp on November 11, 2009

One of the first books I read for the blog was Andrew Sarris’s- The American Cinema. As I started reading more material I started coming across quotes from authors I had actually read and was familiar with. Towards the end of the research process I was familiar with most of the prominent authors and critics being quoted and knew what their approach to Hitchcock was. From Sarris, Douchet, Wexman, Schatz to Hitchcock himself, I had read them all, directly, and not through quotations in other people’s writings. It gave me a deeper understanding of the n going debates surrounding Hitchcock, the Genre Theory and the Auteur Theory.

I do regret not being able to read Truffaut first-hand as his book just did not become available in the library, despite my having requested for it. I did read some of his work on-line but it inst the same as having the book in your hand and going through it extensively.

I also realised that I tend to trust books more than online articles. I have spent nights reading Critical Texts in the Learning Resource Centre since they cannot be taken out of the library. However, I exhausted the relevant books available in the library before my research process ended. A lot of times, the same books were relevant to a number of my blog entries. Towards the end of the research process however, I ended up reading books online on google books.


Posted in Study Diary by reemasenguptacmp on November 11, 2009

Vertigo is a suspense thriller and the given scene is pivotal in it’s plot. Hitchcock is called the Master of Suspense, and analysing his suspense techniques was as obvious next step. Having particular interest in the field of film direction, I intended to look at Hitchcock’s direction methods. I also wanted to look at how he worked on the sets. the book Hitchcock on Hitchcock was very insightful, although I managed to get it very late as it was on loan.

It was important to understand the background in which he was working, which brought me to the studio system and to Selznick. I had chanced upon the documentary- ‘Hitchcock, Selznick and the end of Hollywood’ when I was talking to one of the librarians. The documentary was very extensive and helpful. While the information provided in the documentary was fundamental to my understanding of the personalities of the two men, development of their relationship and the way Hollywood worked, all of it could not be translated into the blog as it would seem irrelevant. It felt weird to know so much about a topic and not be able to convey everything through the post. But then we had been instructed to stick to the topic given.


Posted in Study Diary by reemasenguptacmp on November 11, 2009

Since the assignment was announced in class, I was certain I wanted to blog on one of the film excerpts, since films are the media pathway I want to engage in. The choice between Hitchcock and Tarkovsky was a difficult one. Although I had heard about Hitchcock and seen some of his films, all I knew about him was that he was a prominent Hollywood director. Besides, I personally found Vertigo more engaging compared to Solaris. Hence I decided to blog on Hitchcock.

It was difficult trying to identify one primary subject to work with within the film excerpt as there were so many. I started by deconstructing the scene in terms of activity or events and put down the questions that came to my mind. I started with my mind clear of any pre-conceived notions, so I wouldn’t be biased during the research. I picked up one thing at a time and started the research. My first entry after the initial deconstruction concentrated on the background music as I found it to have a strong presence in the scene.