By Nicholas Haeffner
A finished advent to Alfred Hitchcock?s significant British and Hollywood motion pictures, which navigates the reader throughout the wealth of serious commentaries.Locates the director?s notable physique of labor inside of traditions of intellectual, middlebrow and lowbrow tradition, and their attract sorts of viewers the writer explores Hitchcock?s mastery of the technical potential used to construct and retain suspense. Examines a mode which consistently featured, homicide, espionage, deception, wrong identities, chase sequences, wry touches of humor and low intrusion of the macabre in quite a few combos
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Extra info for Alfred Hitchcock
The camera cuts to the second pair of feet, which belong to Guy Haines (Farley Granger), a conservatively dressed, upwardly mobile tennis star. pm 35 11/04/2005, 17:16 Alfred Hitchcock respectable but rather dull Guy. This means of immediately delineating character relies on none of the traditional verbal techniques employed in drama and the novel, but on a manipulation of a visual language. 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.
In these films the camera inquisitively follows the characters around and watches through windows, door frames and spy holes, often making us aware of its presence on the set. But other mise-en-scène factors, such as costume, colour and lighting, were also used in Hitchcock’s films to great effect. For The Trouble with Harry (1955), Hitchcock had leaves painted different colours and pinned to artificial trees in the studio to create his own version of autumn in Vermont. Vertigo, on the other hand, emphasises the colours red and green.
This is the cinema as roller-coaster ride, and indeed Hitchcock has been credited by Linda Williams (1994) with providing us with the modern blueprint of such a cinema with Psycho. Commenting on the fairground scenes in Strangers on a Train, Prawer notes that ‘roller-coasters, ghost trains, and freak-shows’ proved attractive to the director ‘because they too deal in Angstlust, in thrills that cause delight by playing on fear’ (Prawer, 1980, p. 191). The fairground quality of Hitchcock’s work was remarked on the New York Post’s review of North By Northwest which described it as ‘a wonderful roller-coaster, merry-go-round of pure entertainment’ (Kapsis, 1992, p.
Alfred Hitchcock by Nicholas Haeffner