02 November 2008

Hitchcock | opening thoughts

I never thought much of Hitchcock until I took a class on him in college. Being a horror guy, I'd always thought of suspense as a dull, watered-down version of horror. It was just plain, realistic drama without a werewolf or vampire to be seen. The short, spring term class I took opened my eyes. In the hands of an expert, suspense could generate scenes as interesting to me as anything involving a maniac in a mask.

This is, by far, the largest of my chronocinethons (not counting MST3K, which wasn't a single person's output). I'll be watching 52 movies, alternate versions of 2 of those movies, a variety show, 2 World War II propaganda shorts and 20 television episodes. This comes out to 101 hours of Hitch, which is stored on 58 DVDs hailing from 5 different countries. Not an easy or inexpension set to complete, this was.

This is also one of the few (Leone probably being the only other) directors I'm doing here that would be film snob-approved. Which is a bit of pressure. A lot of really smart folks have written a lot of really smart stuff about Hitchcock over the years. What the hell am I going to write about after watching these films? I suppose I'll find out once I sit down to do it.

Watching some Hitchcock seems like a fun thing to do as the holidays approach. Who knows? If the timing is right, maybe I can convince family members to watch North by Northwest or Strangers on a Train with me.