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Alfred Hitchcock – Director of the Year 2012

22 October 2012 | Cinema Masters, Features | by David Zou

If you are asked to choose the director of 2012,whom you are gonna choose? Michael Haneke,the man who just won his second Palme d’Or? or Paul Thomas Anderson,the man who came back strong with his darkest film to date? or Asghar Farhadi whose film won Oscar Best Foreign Language Film this year and was nominated in the 2012 TIME poll? If this director can be chosen from the past figures in history,Alfred Hitchcock is the one who qualifies for this title.Wonder why? I’m gonna look back at the 8 big Hitchcock events this year,and you can use this as an index for getting better knowledge of this cinema master.

alfred hitchcock

 

The Return of Alfred Hitchcock,on Both Big and Small Screens

The familiar fat figure is back! Film audiences are gonna have two films to watch about the master and his three famous films: Marnie,The Birds and Psycho.Let’s have a look at what’s in store for us on the film and TV screen.

1.The Girl(HBO TV film 2012)

the-girl-2012-poster02

The Girl Poster

The Girl Trailer

The Girl is a close look at the relationship between filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock(Toby Jones) and actress Tippi Hedren(Sienna Miller),who had worked together twice in Marnie and The Birds.Hitchcock had worked successfully with many great blondes before Tippi Hedren,including Ingrid Bergman,Grace Kelly,Joan Fontaine etc,but his relationship with Tippi was not so good,as the actress recalled in his later days,Hitchcock ruined her career.If you are interested in affairs between directors and actresses,this one should be satisfying.Many reviews online called this film “revealed a terrifying Hitchcock”,the conclusion certainly would offend some Hitchcock fans,but what if it was all true?

 

2.Hitchcock(Film 2012)

hitchcock poster

Hitchcock Poster

Hitchcock Trailer

Any film with such titles should grab some attentions.The film is about the stories that happened during the shooting of one of Hitchcock’s most famous picture – Psycho.People have been discussing Hitchcock since the very beginning,the cast is the most controversial subject.Some argue that though Anthony Hopkins is a great British actor,his figure and physical look is not like Hitchcock even with the marvelous modern make-ups,also his voice still sounds like Hannibal Lecter.Scarlet Johansson is nothing like Jenet Leigh from any angle and his sexy figure is totally wasted in a film which didn’t show any part of the heroin’s body in its famous shower scene.But if you are a huge Psycho fan,and you are always interested in how a great film was made,you shouldn’t miss this one.

 

BFI and Alfred Hitchcock

3.Rescue the lost 9 Silent Hitchcock film project

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the few directors in cinema history whose works span three time periods(silent era,sound B&W era,sound color era),his 1920s films have been released before in DVD format but the the poor picture quality still needs improvement. In 2011,a cheering news for Hitch fans was announced by BFI,that they are gonna start the lost 9 silent Hitchcock film restoration project,Guardian reported it early in August last year,but I didn’t get the news until I read the Sight & Sound magazine,a magazine that is officially issued and published by British Film Institution.

The Pleasure Garden

Hitchcock’s debut film The Pleasure Garden

The 9 films that will be restored are:

The Pleasure Garden (1925,his debut film)

Downhill (1927)

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

The Ring (1927)

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)

Easy Virtue (1928)

Champagne (1928)

The Manxman (1929)

Blackmail (1929)

 

4.39 Steps to the Genius of Alfred Hitchcock

39 steps to the genius of hitchcock

 Book:39 Steps to the Genius of Alfred Hitchcock

It is the name of a book published by BFI this year which is a must-read for anyone who is interested in taking a closer look at the master’s cinema and the path of his legendary director career.As the title suggests,the book is written in chronological order and it tells the story of how a little fearful boy learned to project his fear to the big screen. If you are interested in this,you can read some of the chapters here or purchase it here.

 

5.The Greatest Films of All Time Poll

sight-and-sound-greatest-films-of-all-time

If there is any film activity that can qualify as the activity of the 2012,The Greatest Films of All Time Poll hosted by BFI should be it.The vote is cast and the result is announced every 10 years,which is event that is rarer than Soccer World Cup and Summer Olympic Games.This year’s result is exceptionally dramatic that “the king of the kings” Citizen Kane is pulled down by Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo in the film critic’s poll,it has been a huge news in the industry because Orson Wells’ Magnum Opus has been there for five decades.Although Vertigo is not everyone’s favorite Hitch film,but its achievement on psychological and emotional level in cinematic language is convincing.

 

Alfred Hitchcock in Blu

With a director who was so prolific in his career,any DVD company doesn’t want to miss the chance of releasing his films to get some money,since most of his films have not been transferred to the gorgeous Blu-Ray format yet,this is the perfect year to do so,and a win-win for both DVD companies and film fans.

6.Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection – Limited Edition [Blu-ray] [1942][Region Free]

Alfred-Hitchcock-Collection-Blu-ray

 

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection – Limited Edition [Blu-ray]

The Ultimate Collection of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films, including Vertigo, Frenzy, Rear Window, Psycho and The Birds, come together on Blu-ray for the first time ever in perfect High-Definition picture and sound.You can see the 15 titles here.

With hours of bonus features, a collectible 15 page hardback book, art cards, costume sketches, correspondence, photographs and more,this is THE Blu-Ray of the year,and a must-have for any Hitchcock fans.

Check out the DvDBeaver reviews of Vertigo,Rear Window and Shadow of a Doubt.

7.Lifeboat [Blu-ray] [1944]

This is the first time British DVD company Eureka presents a film of Hitchcock in their Master of Cinema series.Based on an unpublished novella by John Steinbeck (written on commission expressly to provide treatment material for Hitchcock’s screen scenario), Lifeboat found the Master of Suspense navigating a course of maximal tension in the most minimal of settings with a consistently inventive, beautifully paced drama that would foreshadow the single-set experiments of Rope and Dial M for Murder.

8.The Man Who Knew Too Much [Blu-ray] [1934]

Criterion has already released five films from Alfred Hitchcock,and they chose this original version of The Man Who Knew Too Much as one of their first bulk of releases of 2013,though the master called it amateurish and remade it into color version in 1956 with James Stewart and Doris Day,but this thriller remains as one of his finest achievement in his British period and contains one of the most famous Hitchcock scenes in the Royal Albert Hall.

The other Hitchcock Blu-ray releases in 2012 including The Lodger,Rebecca,Notorious,Spellbound,Strangers on a Train and To Catch a Thief.

See? 2012 is the year of Alfred Hitchcock! If you still haven’t had any of these,take a bite! 

 

Read other Hitchcock posts on Taste of Cinema

Fashions in Rear Window

Criterion Gems: The Lady Vanishes (1938) dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock – Director of the Year 2012

Top 5 Hitchcock Villains You Wouldn’t Like to Meet

10 Most Underrated Hitchcock Movies You Should Watch Now

8 Trademarks of Hitchcock Movies

10 Hitchcock Blu-rays You Should Consider Buying This Christmas

 

 

 


   

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  • Wow… I would totally love to have that Blu-Ray collection if I ever had a Blu-Ray player. I’ve only seen Psycho as I definitely need to have some Hitchcock in my film spectrum.

    • That Blu-ray collection is one of my most wanted this year,along with the Blu of Lawrence of Arabia and The Life Trilogy.This is the first time both Rear Window and Vertigo get its Blu treatment,can you believe it? I suggest you buy a player,Steven,you are gonna buy it some day!

  • It’s so funny that you posted this. I was already planning on naming Hitch as whitecitycinema’s “Filmmaker of the Year” for 2012 (following Fritz Lang in 2010 and Orson Welles in 2011). Although I think both the Anthony Hopkins film and the HBO film look dreadful, the fact that both appeared this year is a sign of his continued relevance. But the real goodies have been the re-issued films. In addition to the ones you mention above, there was also the Criterion 39 Steps on Blu, the MGM releases of new Blu-rays of Spellbound, Notorious and Rebecca and, beginning next month, the website of the National Film Preservation Foundation is going to stream the recently rediscovered The White Shadow, which Hitchcock wrote, assistant directed, edited and designed the sets for (before he ever directed a movie himself).
    The Lodger is my favorite Blu-ray release of the year, a stunning restoration of a truly great film whose greatness I had never fully realized before. Needless to say, I’m greatly looking forward to the “Masterpiece Collection” box.

    • WOW,great film minds think alike,haha.So you are gonna post about Hitch,right?
      I agree with you that both films look dreadful,especially the weird looking Hitch in the HBO film and the intention of the writer to make Hitch look like a monster.
      I did mention the three releases of MGM in the end,White Shadow is a film that I have heard for a long time but have no idea who’s gonna release it.
      I need to buy THE LODGER DVD,it surprised me that you call it the Blu of the year,don’t forget the Lawrence of Arabia and Life Trilogy Blu! Did you spot that the UK and US version of “Masterpiece Collection” box are different films? I’m more interested in the UK version.

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