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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

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Entries in Alfred Hitchcock (87)

Tuesday
Sep032019

Beauty Break: The Celebrity Portraiture of Phil Stern

by Nathaniel R

Happy Phil Stern Centennial! "who?" you say? Phil Stern, you philistines! He's one of the great Hollywood photographers. He lived a very long life, dying just 5 years ago at 95 years young but his work was largely before our time. We grew up with Herb Ritts and Annie Liebovitz as the biggest names in celebrity photoshoots but as long as Movie Stars have existed there have been artists behind the camera helping to mythologize them. Stern was one of those idolmakers taking several amazing photos of James Dean, Charlton Heston, Liz Taylor and many other important celebrities from the 20th century. Though celebrity portraits and candids weren't his only claim to fame having also been a war photographer. 

After the jump 14 other images from Stern's vast portfolio that we adore...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug132019

Top Ten: Alfred Hitchcock Movies

What are your favourite Hitchcock films? For the Master of Suspense's 120th birthday today, we ought to share them. He's been dead for 39 years but we don't think he'd mind the grave-digging each birthday because his films are immortal.

Mine would go like so:

  1. Psycho (1960)
  2. Notorious (1946)
  3. Rear Window (1954)
  4. Vertigo (1958)
    Those are the four that are unthinkably indecently perfect...

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Sunday
Feb102019

Great Moments in Screen Kissing: Notorious (1946)

For the next few days Team Experience will be sharing favourite screen kisses. Here's Seán...

Seán here in Berlin, saying hallo! to you with the adequate amount of Prussian warmth. I'll be filling you in with all my hot takes on only a handful of the myriad of films premiering at the Festspiele. But first a quick wink to one of my favourite on-screen kisses (the whole lot of them).

Alfred Hitchcock was a master of genre and form, leaving behind a body of work admired by scholars and movie lovers alike. Aside from being a good, old, problematic trickster on set, he also knew how to do it within the confines of the screen. The Production Code which outlined what was decent and indecent on film had a long list of cuttable offenses. Even toilets were verboten. But what if the inclusion of one was essential to the story, as it was when Marion Crane disposes of a letter in Psycho? Hitchcock knew how to skirt the rules and Notorious (1946) is one of the best examples of this...

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Thursday
Nov152018

Say it Aint So! Rebecca (1940) is Getting a Remake

by Nathaniel R

Nooooo. Rebecca (1940) doesn't need to be remade. Essentially no Hitchcock picture needs to be, you know. But word is out that Lily James and Armie Hammer are risking the ghosts of Joan Fontaine and Sir Laurence Olivier to star in a new film version of the Daphne Du Maurier story about "the second Mrs de Winter," her cold bossy husband, a sinister lesbian housekeeper, and an old creepy gothic mansion. The foolish or ballsy director that's going to try to live up to collective memories of Alfred Hitchcock? That'd be Ben Wheatley of High-Rise and Free Fire fame. 

Hey, let's do a "Cast This!" in the comments for the story's best role: Mrs Danvers, that creepy housekeeper with an obsession for her late mistresses undergarments. (You may recall that The Film Experience spent a lot of time with Rebecca a few years ago for a pass-the-baton retrospective.)

Tuesday
Jul312018

What did I just watch? "The Seventh Victim"

by Nathaniel R

Because Jean Brooks had frequently been mentioned as a supporting actress standout of 1943, the last film I screened for our celebration was Val Lewton production The Seventh Victim. I have only one question: what did I just watch? Kristen Lopez was right on the podcast when she called it a "polite" horror movie. Even the satanic villains are polite...

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Tuesday
Jul032018

Perfect Things Which Are Perfect. "Rear Window" Edition

by Nathaniel R

This past weekend Jason and I went to a big screen showing of Hitchcock's masterpiece Rear Window (1954). Or one of his masterpieces that is; has more than his share, that one. We went just because it was playing (bless you rep scene) and it was the absolutely best thing to see during an actual heatwave in NYC because it's set during one yet it's its own air-conditioning. It's utterly cool...

I love that so many characters in the picture but especially LB (Stewart), eternally in pajamas and broken leg cast, come across like the heat is wearing at their nerves, temper, and clothing. Except Grace Kelly as Lisa Carol Fremont, who just floats onto the screen in a cocktail dress, in slomo no less in one of the cinema's all time greatest entrances. Lisa always looks like she is immune to common people concerns like the weather. This only benefits the film because it plays deliciously to L.B.'s (James Stewart) conflicted perception of her as somehow both above the mortal world but also too fragile for it. He thinks his rough and tumble travelling photographer existence too much for her. But isn't the rich dichotomy of the film that she's actually braver than he is when all the dangerous seeds the picture so gleefully places, eventually bloom? 

I've seen Rear Window several times but somehow I always forget big chunks of it. Like that it was set during a heatwave -- how did I forget that? But the heatwave ready to melt me again once I left the theater is beside the point. As I sat there totally engrossed and then delighted and then tense and then elated, I was reminded of a simple fact: Oh riiiiight, this perfect thing is perfect.

COMMENT PARTY ☛ So my spread-the-good-vibes question to you is this. When was the last time you saw an old favorite only to be surprised anew at its total perfection?