Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Hitchcock Season

I can attribute this epic undertaking to Kate Bush… I caught the half-hour Sensual World promo film last week and listening to Kate wax lyrical about Alfred Hitchcock has inspired me to revisit the Master’s filmography, kicking off this past weekend with the Silent films, beginning with the 1927 proto-serial killer film The Lodger, thru to The Ring, Downhill, The Farmer's Wife, Champagne and The Manxman. The next film to see is the 1929 feature Blackmail, which I have in both Silent and Sound editions so this is a nice segue way into the Sound era. Apart from The Lodger, this has been my first pass at the Silent films and they have been something of a revelation, seeing Hitchcock’s remarkable command of the medium on such early films as Downhill and The Ring (the best of the Silents). It’s always a treat to watch a director’s early films and draw connections with later work and the Silent films are pleasingly filled with pre-echoes of familiar Hitchcock obsessions. One element in particular I honed in on, given my love for Rope, is the apartment set of The Ring which features a similarly artificial, illuminated citycape beyond the window. The later film features a much more elaborate design and production, but it’s nice to see Hitchcock adding these decorative details to his sets even at this early stage…

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