In Vertigo, James Stewart's look is as important as the figure of Novak whom he regards and who he transforms by his desires: it combines the objective (the object seen) and the subjective. The Hitchcockian system of shot (object) /counter-shot (look) needs to be considered in this context. Every image in a Alfred Hitchcock film has a double aspect. Even the most documentary, plain and seemingly innocent Hitchcock image contains something disquieting and unsettling. In Vertigo, in Madge's studio and in Elster's office, an initial ordinary frontality and symmetrical balance in the framing and editing of shots becomes distorted, askew, unbalanced and imperceptibly so, less perceived than felt. In Hitchcock what comes into play between shot and counter-shot is the look as in Rear Window where the foreshortening of space (a distortion) is a matter of a perverse, secretive, voyeuristic look through a camera lens that brings the distant close.
Examining Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rebecca in terms of the Gothic convention of non-realist doubled and split characters, this essay argues that the slippage of desire between characters, male as well as female, complicates the containment of the dead Rebecca and whatever she represents. Although the splitting of the female protagonist into the unnamed heroine, the ghostly Rebecca and her surrogate Mrs Danvers has been extensively discussed, the use of this strategy as it concerns the male characters has been less often noticed. The replication of the male protagonist, Maxim, by two other male characters at once deepens him psychologically and contaminates him with ghostliness. These two conflicting manoeuvres strengthen his connection with both his wives, the dead as much as the living. But even while the treatment of Maxim empowers Rebecca and her successor, the movie‘s depiction of male bonding invites a questioning of the extent of female agency.
During a twenty-five year period, spanning the Second World War and his move from
England to America, Hitchcock showed a particular preference for plots involving an
unjustified accusation against the films central character. The 39 Steps (1935),
Young and Innocent (1937), Saboteur (1942), Strangers on a Train (1951), I Confess
(1953), The Wrong Man (1956) and North by Northwest (1959) are all variations on the
same pattern with different thematic emphases. This article discusses the narrative
logic and moral content of this ‘innocence plot’, running through Hitchcock‘s films
from the mid-thirties to the late fifties.
For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds. The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films. Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.
This is a comprehensive critical study of Anthony Asquith. The author sets the director's work in the context of British cinema from the silent period to the 1960s, and examines the artistic and cultural influences within which his films can be understood. Asquith's silent films were compared favourably to those of his eminent contemporary Alfred Hitchcock, but his career faltered during the 1930s. However, the success of Pygmalion (1938) and French Without Tears (1939), based on plays by George Bernard Shaw and Terence Rattigan respectively, together with his significant contributions to wartime British cinema, re-established him as one of Britain's leading film makers. Asquith's post-war career includes several pictures in collaboration with Rattigan, and the definitive adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1951), but his versatility is demonstrated effectively in a number of modest genre films including The Woman in Question (1950), The Young Lovers (1954) and Orders to Kill (1958).
K. J. Donnelly and Steven Rawle
or a decade from 1955, AlfredHitchcock worked almost exclusively with
one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry (1955) to
the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain (1966), the partnership gave us some of
cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower,
away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This book brings
together new work and new perspectives on the
Since the 1970s, many academics and teachers have been taking the study of film out of Film Studies by producing curricula and critical literature hostile to notions of artistic endeavour and aesthetic value. Montage simply is the joining together of different elements of film in a variety of ways, between shots, within them, between sequences, within these. This book offers specific experiences of montage. Though there are clusters of experiences and practices that films share in common, each film is specific to itself. The book is led by that specificity towards these clusters and away from them then back to the films once more. Eadwaerd Muybridge's studies of human and animal locomotion consisted of photographed plates that reproduced bodies in movement in a sequence of still photographs he published in 1887. These reproductions, though sequential, were composed of intermittent, discontinuous immobile units, in effect, a linked series of snapshots. The game in Cahiers du cinéma is based on sixty-nine photographs that Kitano took of various subjects at different times and places, mostly in Japan, some in Africa. The notion and practices of the shot sequence were crucial for Pier Paolo Pasolini's formulations. The Kuleshov effect is the effect of desire. No shot in an Eisenstein film is ever complete because it reappears either analogically, or graphically, or in luminosity or by a contrast of beats and movements (the steps, the hammocks, descents, ascents). The book also discusses the works of David Wark Griffith, Eric Rohmer, and Alfred Hitchcock.
British art cinema: Creativity, experimentation and innovation brings together a selection of essays from both new and established scholars that engage with how far artistic creativity, entertainment and commerce have informed a conceptual British ‘arthouse’ cinema. The chapters show that rather than always sitting in the shadow of its European counterparts, for example, British cinema has often produced films and film-makers that explore intellectual ideas, and embrace experiment and innovation. The book examines the complex nature of state-funded and independent British filmmaking, the relationship between the modernist movement and British cinema, and the relationship between British cinema, Hollywood and US popular culture. The chapters cover the history of British cinema from the silent period to the 2010s. Film-makers explored in detail include Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Derek Jarman, Ken Russell, Horace Ové, Joseph Losey, John Krish, Humphrey Jennings, Nicolas Roeg, and lesser-known artists such as Enrico Cocozza and Sarah Turner. There are new essays on the British New Wave, the 1980s, poetic realism and social realism, the producer Don Boyd, the Black Audio Film Collective, films about Shakespeare, and the work of the Arts Council in the aftermath of World War Two.
connection was stronger and deeper: Herrmann was a
risky alter-ego, a ‘secret sharer’ who took his cinema into darker places than it had
gone before, tying the two artists together in ways that enhanced their careers even
as it threatened their sense of identity.
Before examining this collaboration, it is necessary to evaluate precisely how
Bernard Herrmann fits into AlfredHitchcock’s overall musical achievement. We
tend to forget just how rich and varied that achievement was and how deeply
Hitchcock had experimented with music long before he met Herrmann. When
‘individualism and incomprehensibility’.
The debt to
As suggested above, Truffaut’s
exploitation of genre is not as straightforward as it at first appears. If
his genre films are, with one exception, films noirs or thrillers,
this is attributable in large part to the influence of the films of AlfredHitchcock. Analysis of the latter’s work reveals that Hitchcock