Dour photojournalist Jimmy Stewart sits with a broken leg by his window, watching the lives of his big-city neighbors played out in pantomime in Hitchcocks brilliant meditation on cinema and voyeurism. With Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr, and Thelma Ritter. (114 mins)
As part of our film series - Alfred Hitchcock: The Shape of Suspense
Hitchcock is one of the greatest inventors of form in the history of cinema.Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol
In the 2012 edition of the influential Sight and Sound critics poll, Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo replaced Orson Welless Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time. It was just the latest evidence of Hitchcocks elevation in the cinephile canon, where he has become not a genre-bound Master of Suspense but, in Ian Christies words, the Old Master. A notion of mastery has long been central to the reputation of this filmmaker who declared that every film should exist pictorially in the directors mind from beginning to end before shooting begins. Yet the Old Master moniker seems a touch too reverential for a director who often tweaked authority with comedy, and whose famous technical control gave form to uncontrollable emotions.
Born not long after cinema itself, Hitchcock (18991980) got his start in England as a titles designer for silent pictures; by the time he decamped for Hollywood in 1939, he was Britains most acclaimed director. For viewers more familiar with his American work of the 1940s and 1950s, this series is a chance to discover the delights of the British Hitchcock. Screenings continue through April, and seeing so many of his films together gives a vivid sense of the directors particular preoccupations. The secret correspondences between the guilty and the so-called innocent; love and degradation; policemen and blondesreturning again and again to themes, motifs, and images, Hitchcocks work doubles back on itself, like that spiral in the opening credits of Vertigo.
$5.50 BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley Students, $9.50 Adults, $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, non UCB students, seniors, youth, and disabled