By Nicholas Haeffner
A finished advent to Alfred Hitchcock?s significant British and Hollywood movies, which navigates the reader in the course of the wealth of serious commentaries.Locates the director?s awesome physique of labor inside traditions of intellectual, middlebrow and lowbrow tradition, and their attract types of viewers the writer explores Hitchcock?s mastery of the technical ability used to construct and retain suspense. Examines a mode which continually featured, homicide, espionage, deception, unsuitable identities, chase sequences, wry touches of humor and coffee intrusion of the macabre in numerous mixtures
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Additional info for Alfred Hitchcock
He told a journalist, ‘Before TV, I’d get about a dozen letters a week. Now it’s several hundred’ (in Kapsis, 1992, p. 34). His name and physical presence at the start of each show identified him so closely with the series that he created the impression of having written and directed all the episodes, whereas he wrote none of them and directed only 15 of the 268 episodes. According to one disgruntled script writer, Hitchcock’s fan mail showed that ‘there were hundreds and maybe thousands of viewers out there who believed that Alfred Hitchcock was the author of the tales he told.
Cogeval, 2001, p. 27) The picaresque thriller is ‘romantic’ in the original meaning of the term, which is to say ‘fanciful’, and the protagonist is typically something of a rogue, like Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest. As previously pointed out, the picaresque narrative has its roots in ballad form: it is highly structured, with built-in rhythm and lends itself to musicality – a concept dear to Hitchcock in his own description of his work (see Chapter 3). The episodic structure of Buchan’s novel exemplified Hitchcock’s own approach to narrative construction.
Likewise, Psycho (1960) opens on an aerial view of a city (Phoenix, Arizona – shown from the ‘God’s eye view’ again) before moving in closer, in a series of dissolves. We see a high-rise hotel and the camera seems to enter one of the rooms under a crack in the open hotel window. Once inside the camera looks around the room and appears to sit down in a chair to observe the clandestine sexual liaison between a couple in their early thirties, Sam Loomis (John Gavin) and Marion Crane (Janet Leigh).