Friday, 17 June 2016

Hitchcock spotting

My Hitchcock season is underway and I’m looking forward to, among other things, the director cameos which to my surprise began in the Silent era. I was under the impression that Hitchcock’s appearances in his films didn’t begin until The Lady Vanishes, but he can be glimpsed sitting at a desk in the 1927 film The Lodger. I’ll refrain from posting screengrabs of the cameos as they appear, there are plenty of fine websites out there dedicated to that very thing. Still, I couldn't resist mentioning the Master's ingenious cameo, his 1944 film Lifeboat...

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Hitchcock toyed with the idea of appearing in the opening scene as a corpse drifting among the debris of the torpedoed ship, but instead settled for the faux advert which Hitchcock liked to claim resulted in several thousand letters from people inquiring about the miracle weight-loss product. Interestingly, Hitch's original idea for his cameo was revived some 28 years later for the very amusing trailer of Frenzy which opens with a dummy of Hitchcock drifting down the Thames. Worth mentioning too Hitchcock’s cameo in Last Year At Marienbad, or rather his appearance in Resnais’ film. Hitchcock can be glimpsed early on in the film (at the 11:08 to be precise, so your attention won’t be diverted from Marienbad’s puzzle), lurking in the shadows as a cardboard cut out. I'm sure Hitchcock was flattered by the gesture, he was very keen on the auteur films emerging from post-war France and Italy. Hitchcock's unmade film Kaleidoscope was said to be influenced by Antonioni's Red Desert and later Blow-Up

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