"Film your murders like love scenes and film your love scenes like murders"
Mum hates horror film, scary movies, or anything with dark themes, she’s a rom-com laugh-out-loud kinda gal. And what does this have to do with the master of suspense, Mr Alfred Hitchcock? Turns out amongst the musicals and assorted kids flicks, she also raised me on Hitchcock. It’s never seemed strange that The Birds was my favourite film growing up, until now.
Why do I think Hitchcock was robbed of an Oscar over his lifetime? It’s because Hitchcock scares without the blood, 'There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it'. Hitchcock was always very aware of his audience, 'The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder'. That we now describe suspenseful film as Hitchcockian is powerful within itself. That most people, film fans or not, recognise his silhouette that cameos in his films.
Hitchcock is the nerve-wracking shot of a crop-duster flying down on Cary Grant in North by Northwest. Not knowing why all of The Birds attacked, no neat conclusions there. The imagery of Psycho so iconic that Gus Van Sant directed a remake in 1998, almost shot for shot. The now iconic vertigo-inducing camera shot designed on the set of Vertigo. It's the deranged neighbour bearing down on a wheelchair bound Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window.
With the re-release of Rear Window and To Catch a Thief this week, get out there and re-watch his films. Perhaps you're seeing them for the first time?
Ages 11-14 Short film workshop inspired by Hitchcock on Aug 21-22 at Phoenix Cinema
Rear Window on Aug 27 at Prince Charles Cinema
More than 39 Steps! Alfred Hitchcock's London - a walking tour on Aug 31
North by Northwest is screening outdoors Sept 5
Vertigo on Sept 23 at Prince Charles Cinema