Tag Archives: Alfred Hitchcock

Notorious

Forget Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest film is Notorious. With his usual McGuffin, he wrapped a paranoid love story inside an espionage thriller about genocide.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Cristian Mungiu won the Palme d’Or for his unflinching drama about a single day in the lives of two young women.

A Man Escaped

Robert Bresson’s masterpiece is a perfect example of less is more; natural acting, minimal music, off-screen sounds and restricting yourself to a 50mm lens.

North by Northwest

If small details are the key to Hitchcock’s films, North by Northwest is really about a woman’s quest for significance and a man’s need for a make-over.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

How do you make a film about a sociopath who murders his entire extended family and still get the audience to root for him?

Hidden

Michael Haneke asks audiences difficult questions yet never provides easy answers. When he calls his film Hidden, can we expect anything different?

Full Metal Jacket

Many great auteurs use similar styles to explore similar themes as lesser filmmakers. The only real difference is that great auteurs are more consistent and precise.

The Double Life of Veronique

Krzysztof Kieślowski avoids all the clichés of doppelgängers, doubles and lookalikes to deliver a meditation on freedom.

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

Zodiac

When a film breaks with tradition, it is often rejected by audiences. Which may be why Zodiac was not initially recognised as the groundbreaking masterpiece it is.

The Godfather

Regarded as the greatest gangster picture of them all, the passing years continue to reveal new layers and meanings in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

Yi Yi

As the title to Edward Yang’s masterpiece indicates, Yi Yi is a series of doubles; narrative, thematic, visual and aural, that deliver a subtle family portrait.

Les Diaboliques

Often called the greatest thriller Hitchcock never made, Les Diaboliques is based on a book written to catch the attention of the Master of Suspense.

Peeping Tom

Reviled upon its release and long out of circulation, the influence of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom is now to be found in the most unexpected places.

The Ladykillers (1955)

Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom may star, yet it is Katie Johnson who gives one of cinema’s greatest ever comedic performances.

Bicycle Thieves

Many films enjoy exaggerated reputations, but it is almost impossible to underestimate the beauty, truth and importance of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

Blow Out

Rear Window, Vertigo, Blowup, Weekend, the Zapruder film and The Conversation are all to be seen and heard in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out.

Blowup

Originally titled A Girl, a Photographer and a Beautiful April Morning, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Palme d’Or winner is still as enigmatic fifty years on.

Festen

William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud, Ingmar Bergman and John Cassavetes are just some of the disparate influences on view in Thomas Vinterberg’s masterpiece.

Alien

We are told we watch horror films because they offer a vicariously thrilling, and thus safe experience. I don’t believe that. I believe horror films are instructive.

The Wages of Fear

Described as the most evil film ever made, Henri George Clouzot’s masterpiece resembles Hemingway, Hitchcock, neo-realism and Casablanca.

A Matter of Life and Death

Francois Truffaut once claimed ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’ were incompatible. Powell and Pressburger proved him wrong.

Un Chien Andalou

Un Chien Andalou is barely seventeen minutes long, features mutilation, dismemberment and lots of insects. Yet, it is one of the most influential films ever made.

Does Plot Matter?

For thousands of years, drama theorists from Aristotle to Robert McKee have been telling writers that plot is everything. But is that all there is to drama?

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