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A Year with Hitchcock: The Lodger, by Reed Lackey

20 Jan

Hitchcock, and most of his critics and fans, consider The Lodger to be the first “true” Hitchcock film, despite the couple of earlier entries in his catalogue. It is unquestionably the most noteworthy of all of his early silent films. The Lodger certainly feels like what you would expect from an early Hitchcock film. It contains nearly all of the suspense master’s trademark qualities: suspicion, intrigue, murder, and – of course – blondes.

It is also the first representation of his most common theme, although mentioning precisely what that is would certainly constitute as a spoiler, so I’ll save it for the end.


A Year with Hitchcock: The Pleasure Garden, by Reed Lackey

11 Jan

Hitchcock began his career in films designing title cards for the London branch of Paramount Pictures. He eventually worked his way up to assistant director and ultimately, of course, to director. The very first directorial effort by Hitchcock was a film called Number 13, but a production cancellation midway through due to financial difficulties caused the film to remain incomplete and what little there was of it has been lost to time.

I half expected The Pleasure Garden, the earliest surviving directorial effort from Hitchcock, to be flat and uninteresting. On the contrary, I rather enjoyed it.


A Year with Hitchcock, by Reed Lackey

5 Jan

The phrase is this “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” What I think we mean when we use it (or its reverse that the whole is “lesser”) is a certain intangible quality that can’t quite be dissected or calculated. It reflects a sensibility that language is still struggling to define about why something “works” or doesn’t.

We consider this issue when discussing film constantly. Franchise installments are constantly being ranked in comparison with their sibling entries, which deepens and furthers the conversation on that particular franchise as a whole.