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Entries in Notorious (4)

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
Feb112016

Silence of the Lambs Pt 4: Screaming and Coveting

Team Experience is revisiting 1991's Best Picture winner for its 25th Anniversary...

Previously... We learned about the case and met Clarice as she went on "an errand," Buffalo Bill caught his next victim, and Starling & Lecter played a game of Quid Pro Quo

an FYC ad from the time

Pt. 4 by Jose Solis

When Nathaniel left us, Dr. Lecter was Scheherezade-ing the crap out of Clarice by telling her about Baltimore. Do you ever get a sense that just like the King from Arabian Nights, Agent Starling craves to return for more?

01:08:18 “Everything you need to find him is right there in those pages...” he says about the case files. As Clarice paces left to right, Dr. Lecter decides it’s time for another lesson by quoting Marcus Aurelius. He suggests Clarice decipher what is the nature of the killer. As she lists every reason why serial killers kill in lesser thrillers, the doctor loses his patience and gives her the answer.

01:08:57 “He covets”

01:09:45 Clarice begs him to help her out, as the philosophizing cannibal reminds her it’s her turn to share, after all “this is all the time we’ll ever have”.

01:10:28 Clarice recounts the tale which gives the book/film its name, as she shares a memory that haunts her from her days in the ranch in Montana with her relatives. Something woke her up early one day…

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Friday
Aug212015

Is "Notorious" Hitchcock's Only Feminist Film? 

Welcome back to our Ingrid Bergman Centennial... we accidentally took a week off. Here's Deborah on Hitchcock's Notorious (1946) - Editor

Notorious is Hitchcock’s only feminist film, and Alicia Huberman, as played by Ingrid Bergman, is the only Hitchcock heroine rewarded, rather than destroyed, for her sexual agency. Notorious pairs a tramp, which is what Alicia calls herself, with a misogynist, as Cary Grant’s Devlin says he’s always been afraid of women. Alicia, then, is not fighting Nazis, she’s fighting the patriarchy and its misogynist attraction/repulsion for female sexuality. 

Everyone knows that Hitchcock coined “McGuffin” to mean the thing that everyone in the film cares about, but no one in the audience cares about. The example generally used is the radioactive sand from Notorious. But I’d argue that the entire Nazi plot, in fact World War II as a whole, is the McGuffin. This is a love story, a sex story, an awakening story, and, yes, a feminist story. [More...]

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Tuesday
Aug062013

Team Top Ten: Most Memorable Performances in a Hitchcock Film

Amir here, with this month's edition of Team Top Ten. To celebrate Alfred Hitchcock's birthday next week (Aug 13th), we've decided to celebrate his career by looking at something that isn't discussed quite as often as it should be: the performances he directed.

Hitchcock has more auteur cred than any other director so its understandable that his presence behind the camera attracts the most attention in all discourse about his oeuvre. Yet, his films are undeniably filled with amazing performances, from archetypal blondes and influential villains to smaller, eccentric supporting turns from characters actors. The list we've compiled today is the Top Ten Most Memorable Performances from Alfred Hitchcock's Films.

Make of "memorable" what you will! Our voters each certainly had their own thinking process. Some of us - myself included - took the word literally and voted for what had stuck with us the most, irrespective of size and quality of the performance. Some went for the best performances, some for the best marriage of actor and role and some for a mix of all of those things. Naturally, the final list veers towards the consensus, but as always, I've included bits and pieces of our individual ballots that stood out after the list.

Without further ado...

10. Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont (Rear Window)
There's memorable, and there's iconic. And then there's Grace Kelly in Edith Head. A performance all at once decadent and demure, Hitchcock's crown jewel struts and strolls glowingly in Rear Window, lithely giving off the allure to which she's come to recognize is her signature (and she worries, her sole) appeal. It's only as the mystery of the picture begins to unravel that the shades are lifted (literally) and the flinty little girl we thought we knew positions herself to be the real knight in shining armor. The famed icy Hitchcock blonde archetype manages that most remarkable and memorable of transformations in this, his best film; thanks to and because of Ms. Kelly, the sculpture discovers itself and its purpose. It's a beautiful thing when an actor can make a director forget himself and his tendencies. Something New Happens.
- Beau McCoy

9 more iconic turns after the jump

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