Friday, 18 May 2012

A few thoughts about Hitchcock

This week it is the Hitchcock blogathon, with the aim of raising money for the National Film Preservation (look here for further details), and I had intended to write a solid post, but alas time was too short, and hence the post will be short too.

I thought I just embed a clip here, from the second version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), because it is pure Hitchcock.  It is a sequence that shows an ordinary man walking on an ordinary street, yet the tension and paranoia is running amok. Almost everything here is in the camera movements (and sound), more so than the movement of James Stewart. We are seeing Stewart, not Hitch, but we can still feel Hitch, walking in front of Stewart, or beside him, or behind him. It is a rare feeling, the overwhelming, tangible, foreboding presence of the filmmaker.



This is all I had time for this week, but I will post a more substantial piece on Hitchcock soon, possible in the autumn. But, since no film by Hitchcock made it into my top ten list of last week, here is a list of my six favourite films by him:

The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Notorious (1946)
Rope (1948)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Rear Window (1954)
The Wrong Man (1956)

Painful list to make, since I had to leave out other great films, by which I mean The Ring (1927), The 39 Steps (1935), Young and Innocent (1937), Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), The Trouble With Harry (1955), Vertigo (1958), North By Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964) and Family Plot (1976).

(I have written about Hitchcock before on this blog, for example about Alfred Hitchcock Presents (here) and Hitchcock and kangaroos (here). Have a look.)

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