Alfred Hitchcock's Silent Films
McFarland, 24 sty 2015 - 223
Alfred Hitchcock called the silent “the purest form of cinema,” and the ten silent films he directed between 1925 and 1929 reveal the young director’s mature artistry. Hitchcock’s silents have often been characterized as the work of a talented amateur, a young director practicing his craft during a pre-sound era of antiquated instruments and poor film techniques—the director experimented with myriad points of view, unique camera angles and movements, and special effects such as dissolves, blurriness, and violent cuts. These films, however, contain the first appearances of some of his greatest and most familiar techniques: the vertigo-inducing crowd scene, the symbolic use of inanimate objects, the manipulation of the audience’s emotions, and the self-conscious, often macabre wit. This work discovers Hitchcock’s early talent and skill through close readings of the films from The Pleasure Garden to the silent version of Blackmail, using shot-by-shot descriptions and interpretations. Each film’s chapter includes technical information, a summary of the critical response from the film’s release to the present, and detailed analysis of the camera techniques and themes Hitchcock uses.
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actor Alfred Hitchcock Alice artist audience boy’s brightly lit camera dollies camera panning Carl Brisson characters Churdles cinematic Coaker Corby Corby’s Crewe’s crowd Cut back Daisy di›erent director disorienting door Downhill e›ect earlier enters eyes face Fade to black farmer Farmer’s Wife feel film’s Filton foreground frame front gaze Girl Girl’s Gordon Harker guests hand Harker head Hitch Hitchcock cuts Hitchcock film Hitchcockian Ian Hunter Jack Jack’s Jill John John’s Julia kiss Larita laughing lodger long shot looking Louisa maid Malcolm Keen man’s Manxman Mary medium Minta montage moves Patsy Patsy’s played Pleasure Garden prosecutor Quick cut realize reverse angle ring Roddy Roddy’s says scene screen seconds seen shoulder silent films sitting smiling stairs staring subliminally suddenly Sweetland Thirza three-shot Torn Curtain turns two-second two-shot upstairs walk Ware Whittaker woman
Strona 69 - who can write a screen story. There are no chapter headings, no intervals between the acts. The fading in and fading out are so quick that they do not give the audience time to discuss and work out and think over what they have seen and why they have seen it
Strona 107 - For those who want it I don't think films should be looked at once. I think they go by too fast. But the critics sit in there at their 10:30 AM sitting,
Strona 12 - in pictures that if by any chance the sound apparatus broke down in the cinema, the audience would not fret and get restless because the pictorial action would still hold them! Sound is all right in its place, but it is a silent picture training which counts today.
Strona 34 - I think that pace in a film is made entirely by keeping the mind of the spectator occupied. You don't need to have quick cutting, you don't need to have quick playing, but you do need a very full story and the changing of one situation to another....
Strona 97 - Back to Stewart, who has a kindly smile. But if in the place of the little dog you show a halfnaked girl exercising in front of her open window, and you go back to a smiling Stewart again, this time he's seen as a dirty old man!
Strona 97 - This is actually the purest expression of a cinematic idea. Pudovkin dealt with this, as you know. In one of his books on the art of montage, he describes an experiment by his teacher, Kuleshov. You see a close-up of the Russian actor Ivan Mosjoukine. This is
Strona 29 - It is possible that this film is the finest British production ever made.... The
Strona 44 - being accused, I feel, provides the audience with a greater sense of danger. It's easier for them to identify with him than with a guilty man on the run. I always take the audience into account
Strona 39 - So, in all my films, about two-thirds of the way through, I try to supply a definite contrast. I take a dramatic situation up and up and up to its peak of excitement and then, before it has time to start the downward curve, I introduce comedy to relieve the tension. After that, I feel
Strona 196 - Cleverly directed, finely played human interest story.... Only a skillful director could have devised from a story of this kind a picture of such remarkable power and interest. The unflinching realism and masterly manner [make the spectator] oblivious to the drabness of the story.