Posts Tagged ‘Hitchcock’

What? You thought that just because I posted a book giveaway on Wednesday, there wasn’t going to be a regular post this week? Silly rabbit.

Reading is usually an escape for me, but while in COVID-lockdown, it’s been a challenge. Oh, I can read news articles fine (although I could do with fewer of them), but fiction? I just can’t seem to marshal the requisite mental focus to immerse myself in a novel. My mind is too easily distracted, too easily pulled out of the narrative, and I can only concentrate for twenty or so pages at a time, which frustrates me and compounds the problem.

Last week, though, I thought “Ah, but short stories!” A short story I figured I could handle, so I picked up a collection we’d recently brought home. The Birds and Other Stories, by Daphne du Maurier.

My first introduction to du Maurier’s fiction came via Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca.” It’s a great movie and I recommend it highly, but the novel, ah, the novel! So many interesting and unusual choices in style and structure, with beautiful prose paintings and deep character studies. The book and movie both garnered deserved praise.

But, chances are, your introduction to Daphne came from a different du Maurier/Hitchcock collaboration, specifically “The Birds.” It was with this short story, written circa 1952, that I sat down, in an attempt to get my mind off All Things COVID. (more…)

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This just in from the “Are You Freaking Kidding Me?” column…

A recent poll conducted by the British Film Institute has placed Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” on top, as the “greatest film of all time.” The classic thriller unseats the long-reigning “Citizen Kane” from the #1 spot it virtually owned for the past 50 years.

I say again: Are you freaking kidding me?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of the Hitch, but “Vertigo”? How can any film be deemed the greatest of all time when it has Kim Novak somnambulating across the screen like a Valium-popping golem. It’s ridiculous. There are plenty of Hitch’s movies I’d put up there with “Kane”—”Rear Window” to name the first that comes to mind—but never in a thousand years would I have put “Vertigo” up there.

How could “846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors” have gotten it so desperately wrong? It has to be mentioned that “Vertigo” has rated highly in the BFI’s poll for a while, climbing from 7th, to 4th, to 2nd, and finally, now, to 1st place over the past 20 years. So, if nothing else, at least these misguided muppets are consistent. Though why “Vertigo” should be the only one of Hitch’s 45 opera to break the top ten is a complete and utter mystery (“Psycho” rests down at #35, and no other title of his is to be found on the list).


I will say this, though: taken as a whole, the BFI list is much more interesting than the AFI’s, and I would recommend any fan of film to pop on over and jot down a few of the more esoteric titles. Take a chance on Lang’s “Metropolis” (one of my personal favorites) or Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” or De Sica’s “Bicycle Thieves,” which took the top spot back in the poll’s early days.


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