Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Alfred Hitchcock Blog-A-Thon (November 2006)

Well here it is! My contribution to the many Blog-A-Thon Entries in honour of Alfred Hitchcock.

Over the last month, I decided to undergo a marathon of his works and, should you desire, I've quite an extensive list of reviews. So scroll around, drift through the October archives and post a comment or two telling me how wrong I am. My favorite films of his that I've seen so far will be hotlinked here as well. As many of you might show up a little late in including your posts, that's fine, I'm a little late in watching everything good ol' Hitch has made, so to all you contributors out there, take your tim and drop me a comment when your entry is up, and I'll include your site on my link as soon as possible.

This particular entry will focus on a far more personal note, a few details about my experiences of the man and his works from as early as I've ever know the 'Master of Suspense'. Included is a journal of my findings and comments as I progressed through Good Ol' Alfred's pleathora of films. Most importantly at the bottom you will find contributor links to all the juicy blog posts about this great man, his films and whatever relates to the man. Enjoy!

September 13th
My first experience of Alfred Hitchcock was by far the worst. I must have been around seven years old, over at my grandma's house and some daytime talkshow had some guest from Psycho, probably Janet Leigh, because they went on to show the entire horribly frightening shower scene, chocolate sauce and all.
I didn't sleep at all that night. Not a pleasant start to this man's works.

One summer about fifteen years later, I went to Montreal, where my date took me to the Alfred Hitchcock exhibit at an art gallery. I wasn't expecting much. Well, what a layout. There were tons of props and portraits, head shots of leading ladies, the rope from Rope, abstract eyes (pieces inspired by Spellbound), and this terrific little interview with Hitchcock himself describing his way of turning the Film Noir Genre on its ear. Alfred seemed proud of himself as he asked and answered his questions about the Film Noir Cliché and how he intentionally shattered all that with North By Northwest. I watched the whole interview alone there in that museum's large hall. What I remember most however was the last room in the corner, a bare-walled solitary place with a 1950s jungle gym upon which perched birds... big black lifelike crows to be precise, that were scattered, poised, all over the plaything and dangling from the ceiling. Really cool.

Ever since then I've wanted to see his works, but except for Psycho (both versions), The Birds and Vertigo, I just hadn't gotten around to it. I'm looking forward to this.

September 17
You know before I've even begun, I realize how important a man Hitchcock is, since both of the indy videostores I went to to get the more obscure films of the collection, has its own Hitchcock section. One even had it right next to the Kurosawa section... my next Blog-A-Thon subject...

October 13
As expected, all the films before 1934 were barely worthy of note, save The Pleasure Garden, his first, and Downhill, (his second). With the help of my friend's Chinese box set of 45 films, I've secured pretty much everything this man ever did, and I plan on watching them in chronological order.

November 1
Alright, I'm officially disolusionned. I will admit to you all that I am not a fan of hitchcock's early works. Sure I'm glad I've seen them, being the obsessive completist that I am, but the 1930s were certainly not my favorite decade for film, and sdadly Hitchcock didn't do much to improve my opinion of it. I DO know that the more we travel along this man's career path, the more he gets to where we know he's capable of being.

November 14th
Seems I've hit a pocket of genius. Rear Window, Dial M For Murder, Strangers On A Train. My God. My only wish was that he'd hit this wave a decade before.

I remember in high school when we got our yearbooks, there was a section that covered the 80s. 1989 was a full page describing the fall of the Berlin wall, the Tiananmen Square massacre, a lot of history. For all the years leading up to '89, we had a small blurb. Still to this day I remember reading "1980 - Alfred Hitchcock dies", and even back before I was inducted into the land of critics and filmmaking, I knew that was a hard fact for a lot of people.

Personal favorites:

Rear Window - 92%

The Wrong Man - 88 %, Strangers On A Train - 88%

Rebecca - 86%

Now scroll down to see all the other contributors to the Blog-A-Thon, in alphabetical order:

  • Lucas over at 100 Films includes Psycho as one of them.
  • At Critic After Dark you'l find a side by side comparission in Psycho Squared, as commented on by Noel and his Evil Twin Brother.
  • I was hoping someone would cover Gus Van Sant's Psycho! Thanks Culture Snob!
  • Over at Filmyear, Thom has some choice tidbit quotes from the master Of Suspense himself
  • Flickhead graces us with wonderful images from France.
  • Vincent visite The Trouble with Harry chez son site, Inisfree.
  • JA over at My New Plaid Pants discusses his favorite character from his favorite Hitchcock.
  • Over at Stale Popcorn, Kamikaze Camel takes an in-depth look at The 39 Steps.

Now scroll past the slate for late entries and new submissions

  • Chris over at Category D discusses Hitchcock as he relates to Film Studies.

More to come throughout the week for you procrastinators out there, including myself!

(Scroll down for new reviews of my own, and to all contributors - leave a comment with your permanent link.)