Thursday, March 15, 2007


Alfred Hitchcock: 3-Disc Collection

Alfred Hitchcock’s reputation has developed, over the years, into the legend of an essential genius. Masterpieces like Psycho are considered a part of the director’s body, glued to his physique alongside his trademark rotund silhouette. All that hype can contaminate the actual experience of his films. Hitchcock pioneered many of the suspense mechanisms that sustain contemporary genre filmmaking, but it’s tough to decipher how he manages to create such marvelous thrills when you’re already buying into his wizardry in the opening credits.

Fortunately, the origin story remains lucid: The recent Alfred Hitchcock Box Set helps give context to Hitchcock’s better known works. The collection contains five features (gloriously restored by Studio Canal) from Hitchcock’s early career in the United Kingdom. It’s a fascinating gathering of silent and early sound films originally released between 1928 and 1931, a few years before he made his pilgrimage to America. Die-hard Hitchcock fans will take issue with notable exceptions, including his breakout accomplishment, The Lodger. But anyone unfamiliar with this period in Hitchcock’s career will certainly marvel at early signs of his ingenuity.

Read the rest of the review in the New York Press...


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