Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

I have recently been indulging in an Alfred Hitchcock marathon - watching a movie a month. Not having ever seen many of his films, my naive understanding of what "a Hitchcock film" was was seriously misguided. Blackmail, murder, death - sure, but having now seen five of his films, there is much more to them. Hitchcock truely creates and sustains tension, plays with symbolism, and experiments (successfully) with new film technology. As an evolving filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock and his film have become inspirational to me.

Here are the films I have seen so far, in the order I saw them:
  1. Psycho (1960) - I saw Psycho first maybe 5 years ago, and I remember really enjoying it. I especially loved the fact that there was so much more to the story than just the infamous shower scene.
  2. Rear Window (1954) - The first Hitchcock film in the current "marathon." Loved it. Now I understand it's spoof in the Simpsons. It is an amazing use of confined space, with the protagonist (wonderful James Stewart) wheelchair-bound in his apartment, only able to watch his neighbours out his window.
  3. The Birds (1963) - A very creepy and surreal film. I really enjoyed the technical side with the extensive use of special effects. Story-wise, it starts slowly, then rushes into terror. But where is the ending?
  4. Vertigo (1958) - I am so conflicted with this one. I was fascinated by the story and the way it takes such a turn in the middle, but I also felt it dragged in the second half and was confused by the complete shock tag ending. Vertigo is a very fascinating film with very suspenseful moments. I think I like it, but it requires another viewing.
  5. Strangers on a Train (1951) - A fantastically simple story (I wish I had thought of it!) with a stunning acting turn by Robert Walker! Simple, subtle and well-paced.
Up next and waiting to be put into my DVD player is Dial M for Murder. I'll update you with my thoughts once I have seen it. Perhaps I'll make is a semi-regular feature on here. We'll see. All I know is that I am really enjoying watching Hitchcock's films and seeing the style of film-making of 50 years ago.

I can't fathom what Hitchcock would have thought of today's hyperfast blockbusters, such as the garbage Transformers 2...


Raptor Lewis said...

I understand where you're coming from man, as I just started watching them, recently, like THIS year, in fact. They are truly amazing suspense films for their time! Hitchcock is Truly a classic thriller series, indeed! :)

I WAS wondering where that "Shower Scene" that I've seen spoofed in plenty of comedies these days came from. Cool Fact!! I just learned something else today! Thanks, Pete!

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Hitchcock is a master!

it's so sad we just get garbage and more garbage these days.

Raptor Lewis said...

Dinorider- Amen!! :)

Raptor Lewis said...

News of Art Evolved's Success is NOW on my blog!! Plus, I gave EVERYONE the CREDIT they Deserve!!! :D Again, Congrats, dude! :D

Zach said...

I've seen a few Hitchcock movies too, and Rear Window is my favorite (though Vertigo is good too). The Birds is a little long for what it is, and you're right, there's no ending.

the writer said...

I watched Strangers on a Train recently. Great old movie. You should check out The Man in the Glass Booth for another stunning older flick.