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Old 13-10-2008, 09:45   #1
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Hitchcock

I have started studying films as part of my university course - what are people's thoughts on Alfred Hitchcock?
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Old 13-10-2008, 10:46   #2
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He was a genius. Recently been catching some of his work on BBC4 there was a really good interview screened where his genius just shined...



Also watched The Lady Vanishes on BBC4 t'other night, classic! Loved the attention to detail each of the characters had, the two fellas bitching about the cricket match was sublime.
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Old 13-10-2008, 11:53   #3
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He's my favourite director... but, then again, I would say that!
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Old 13-10-2008, 11:54   #4
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AH's reputation speaks for itself. I think it is fair to say that it takes a certain amount of maturity to really appreciate some of the subtle nuances in his films. I have learned to appreciate his films more and more and I grew older. IMO, Rear Window is his numero uno work.
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Old 13-10-2008, 14:00   #5
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Seeing Hitchcock's work is like going to the best film school in the world. One can look at Psycho, for example, and learn a whole assortment of cinematic tricks. The films are so devastatingly-well planned that they are endlessly re-watchable. I never go through a month without looking at at least one Hitch movie. (This month: The Thirty-nine Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, Vertigo and I Confess.) He's my favourite director, certainly of all Hollywood filmmakers. As well as being dazzling technical exercises, the films are also bloody entertaining. And like Miles Davis in the world of jazz, he managed to be commercially successful whilst retaining complete creative integrity. The man was the Master, pure and simple.
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Old 13-10-2008, 14:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWilde1966 View Post
The films are so devastatingly-well planned that they are endlessly re-watchable.
I saw Rear Window for the upteenth time last month and noticed quite a few background activities that I had missed before. I think AH often played mind tricks with his potential audience as well.
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Old 13-10-2008, 15:15   #7
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Which of the Hitchcock box sets would people go for ?
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Old 13-10-2008, 15:42   #8
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If you're able to play R1 US DVDs, then the Masterpiece Collection is the best of the films owned by Universal. The upcomming Premiere Collection from MGM should be good. The Lionsgate set has the best transfers of 5 of the early films.

The R2 releases from Universal should be avoided (a mixture of mediocre transfers and even a few pan&scans!). The recent set from Network was a missed opportunity (the bitrates used for the transfers are too low). The German Concorde set from 2003 is well worth considering. The Warner's UK Signature Collection can often be picked up cheaply, although the US version contains more films.

Many of Hitchcock's British films can be picked up on French DVDs.
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Old 13-10-2008, 15:53   #9
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thanks!
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Old 13-10-2008, 16:50   #10
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If you're thinking of getting the Signature Collection get the US version. It has Mr and Mrs Smith, Suspicion and Foreign Correspondent which are missing from the UK set. Also the UK set has bizarrely cropped Dial M for Murder to widescreen.
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Old 13-10-2008, 19:03   #11
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The proper ratio for Dial M has been discussed both here and on the Hitchcock Message Board.

The widescreen region 2 version looks very good, in fact, and has been praised by some US posters who prefer it to the full screen version.

It seems likely the 3D version was less aggressively cropped than the
1.85:1 on the disc, since foreground objects - eg bottles - are reduced to their tops. This is no great loss. Incidentally, the couple are obviously a thirsty pair having a drinks table on one side of the sitting-room and a side-table full of bottles opposite, from which Lesgate is served his brandy.

I saw the movie on the big screen earlier this year from an HD Digital source, when it was projected in Academy ratio! Not open-matte but corresponding to the US DVD, I guess. Dave has some screen-shots to show that both discs crop the image.

I have to say I like the R2 DVD but look forward to seeing the picture one day in 3D. I don't think the old VHS and TV prints were open-matte either, though overscan issues make it hard to be certain. It looks fine widescreen. The R2 disc to question is surely The Wrong Man, which does lose significant detail when matted to 1.85:1.
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Old 15-10-2008, 07:34   #12
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Hitchcock's suspensers are there when life gets you down. ninety minutes or two hours of movie escapism through the suspension of disbelief, of which he's the master. he's like a friendly uncle you can spend time with or something. Henri-Georges Clouzot is his only peer and he wasn't anywhere near as prolific.
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Old 15-10-2008, 09:46   #13
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Quote:
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Hitchcock's suspensers are there when life gets you down. ninety minutes or two hours of movie escapism through the suspension of disbelief, of which he's the master. he's like a friendly uncle you can spend time with or something. Henri-Georges Clouzot is his only peer and he wasn't anywhere near as prolific.
I'd add Luis Bunuel to Clouzot. In Bunuel's autobiography, there is a lovely picture of Bunuel sitting with a group of the Hollywood old school - Lang, Ford, Stevens and Hitchcock amongst them. Bunuel is definitely someone who cheers me up. An afternoon in the company of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty, That Obscure Object of Desire (or all three at once) is guaranteed to sweep any morbidity or melancholy from my system!
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Old 15-10-2008, 13:10   #14
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Does anyone know which DVD has the best transfer for Rebecca?
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Old 16-10-2008, 08:11   #15
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Does anyone know which DVD has the best transfer for Rebecca?
The new MGM Region 1 release.
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Old 16-10-2008, 08:17   #16
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Bunuel's a brilliant director. That Obscure Object Of Desire is one of my favourite films. i don't really associate him with suspense, though. think I've seen the pictures you describe. unusual to have so many great directors in the same room.
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Old 16-10-2008, 10:31   #17
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The new MGM Region 1 release.
OK, thanks. I'll get that one then.
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Old 16-10-2008, 12:04   #18
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Pure genius, I've still got a couple of his films to watch but Vertigo has to be my fav.
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Old 17-10-2008, 07:19   #19
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Pure genius, I've still got a couple of his films to watch but Vertigo has to be my fav.
The new Region 1 release from Universal has to be seen to be believed. The transfer is awesome!
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Old 17-10-2008, 09:35   #20
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Quote:
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Bunuel's a brilliant director. That Obscure Object Of Desire is one of my favourite films. i don't really associate him with suspense, though. think I've seen the pictures you describe. unusual to have so many great directors in the same room.
It's not so much the suspense which links the two men. Bunuel was having a conversation with John Ford, and then: "...we heard footsteps shuffling behind us, and when I turned around, there was Alfred Hitchcock, round and rosy cheeked, his arms held out in my direction. I'd never met him, either, but knew that he'd sung my praises from time to time. He sat down on the other side of me, and, one arm around my shoulders, he proceeded to talk non-stop about his wine cellar, his diet, and the amputated leg in Tristana. 'Ah, that leg...that leg,' he sighed, more than once." (MY LAST BREATH, Bunuel, p.195). This is the point: Hitch and Bunuel shared an amusement at the macabre, but their films also share a wonderfully urbane smoothness...the best of them seem effortless, as if they'd just fallen together into a state of perfection. And of course, Bunuel's surrealism tapped into Hitch's interest in cheesy Freudian psychology, and both created joyously cinematic works.
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