Author Archives: akumor

Looking for Alfred

Looking for Alfred is a short film, lasting only 10 minutes, directed by Johan Grimonprez. The film follows the director in his search for the perfect Hitchcock double. Grimonprez did not want to limit himself to one particular area. Screen tests were held in New York, L.A., and London in his attempt to find a perfect match. Eventually Mike Perry was cast as the voice of Hitchcock. Ron Burrage was cast as the Hitchcock look a like. A book was published by Grimonprez that details his plan during filming. Looking for Alfred explored the legacy of Hitchcock and paid homage to him and his films through detailed references in film. The short film focus’s on Hitchcock’s idea of a double.

Another well known piece of art by Grimonprez was the film Double Take. Double Take was an “essay-film” by the same director. It includes footage from the cold war era and it follows Alfred Hitchcock as a history professor who encounters his double. Hitchcock has a discussion with his double and is scared by his doppelganger. The major themes of Double Take are paranoia, falsehoods, and contradictions.

“Psych” and Hitchcock

Psych is a popular T.V. show on the USA network. The season four finale is basically dedicated to Hitchcock and is filled with references to Hitchcock movies. The episode references Psycho, The 39 Steps, and North by Northwest to name just a few. Although I can not put all the Hitchcock allusions from this episode in this post, I highly recommend viewing this episode to see how many Hitchcock mentions you can find.

 

Not So Great

According to the British Film institute and many critiques, Vertigo is Alfred Hitchcock’s film and the greatest film of all time. This claim I believe is false. I will admit, Vertigo did use some unique filming aspects as Laurie Boeder says in her critique on Vertigo ” Vertigo used camera angles and techniques innovative for its time, and much copied in later years”. I personally liked the use of zooming in and out to simulate the fear of heights. The film also had a very interesting and cool introduction. However this is not enough to make a film good, let alone great. In order for a film to be great it has to be more than just technical aspects that catch the trained eye. It has to capture the hearts of the ordinary viewer. The plot was lacking in speed and depth. To most viewers today, it would be a pain to watch because of its slowness. A film should be timeless, but Vertigo was sufficient for its time. Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Rear Window” would be best suited for the title of Greatest Hitchcock Film. “Rear Window” had a fantastic plot with great characters and it had unique and brand new technical aspects that made it a film not just centered on its plot. This film could hold the attention of my generation and deserves the title much more

Criss-cross in Strangers on a Train

“Strangers on a Train” is a film centered around the motif of criss-crossing. The main plot of the film is about exchanging murders with a total stranger, Bruno kills Guy’s ex- wife in exchange for Guy killing Bruno’s father. Since both men are total strangers there is no way that either could be seen as culpable. The plot causes two strangers path’s to be criss-crossed with each other, which is why Hitchcock emphasizes this motif by repeatedly putting criss-crossing images into his film.

Two image is in the opening scenes of the film demonstrate this motif, the train tracks, and Guy’s and Bruno’s shoes.

Another example of the criss-crossing in the film is when Bruno is staring straight ahead during the tennis match and everyone else around him is following the match.