Most memorable for being (I believe) cinema’s first freeze-frame. But it isn’t just in the archives for this one cinematic flourish—this film is a series of high-wire stylistic exercises Trojan-horsed in a pretty bland narrative
The freeze-frame is brilliant- and it’s important—Truffaut is the auteur most aligned with the freeze and it makes sense that it’s from Hitchcock. You can trace the roots back.
Silent, comedy—the set-up (a lot of light flapperism that is a distant cousin plot to 1934’s Oscar-winner It Happened One Night
Bookend visual flourishes- shot through the champagne glass- ingenious
Like Murnau before him (this is clearly influenced by Sunrise in many ways) and Scorsese (the rubber biscuit drunk in Mean Streets), Aronofsky (a pounding headache in Pi) and many others after Hitchcock is determined to shoot everything creatively—he doesn’t want to tell you the ship is rocking violently back and forth, he wants to show you with the camera. Pure cinema. Sea sickness here.
Vaseline on the edges around the entire frame to give the edges a soft focus and put the attention on the character in the center—alternative between his and her POV here
Tracking out of Demme-like close-ups—really well done
Hitch has another brilliant sequence here—he shows a robbery by showing only the feet of the characters—he’d perfect this of course and do it in 1951’s masterful Strangers on a Train
Many graphic match transitions— once he goes from the blueprints of a boat to the room number on it
The famous freeze frame edit comes 49 minutes in. There are people dancing and then we freeze and we’re in her POV looking at a picture (of people dancing) and he tracks away from it. Stunning