Friday, 26 August 2016

Spellbound

One last cameo, one last film... My Hitchcock season drew to a close this afternoon with screenings of the Master's final two films. The season began in mid-June with The Lodger and 2 months later, and 50 years worth of film-making, I bow out with the breezy and brilliant Family Plot. Notorious, Rope, Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, Psycho, Frenzy are old friends but there were plenty of surprises too - the re-discovery of Vertigo, and two new favourites step out of the filmography - the stark, disturbing noir The Wrong Man, and the thrilling Cold War film Torn Curtain - both first time screenings too. Perhaps the most enjoyable films were the bookends. Hitch's Silent pictures proved hugely impressive (he was obviously taking notes during his stint at UFA), and I really enjoyed Hitch's final decade which contain some of his more overlooked films, like the terrific globe-trotting espionage thriller Topaz, which can at least boast having a black actor - Roscoe Lee Browne, in a small but key role - apart from Canada Lee in Lifeboat, black actors are unfortunately a rarity within Hitchcock's filmography. Despite the season suffering a few unavoidable omissions along the way (Under Capricorn, and most glaringly To Catch A Thief), I'm in good shape to pick up Hitchcock/Truffaut, Patrick McGilligan's 2003 biography and Peter Cowie's Hitchcock Murders...


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