Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hitchcock as Buddha

The former Gainsborough Studios in East London
has been turned into apartments. The studio was used by
Alfred Hitchcock and now has a Buddha-like statue
of him in the courtyard. I think statute captures
the perplexing essence of Hitchcock. 

The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a 15 part TV series (900 minutes) tracing the history of cinema from the 19th century into the digital age. It's a detailed examination of movie making that explores everything from lighting technique to sound engineering.

For example, who would have known that a Chinese actress, Ruan Lingyu in The Goddess (1934), would introduce a natural style of acting decades before Brando. Or that Orson Wells's innovated use of the deep focus technique in Citizen Kane was not original but used in earlier European and Asian films. It's tiny bits of film history like these that make the series fascinating and hypnotic. 

The Story of Film is as spellbinding as any thriller on the big screen; and for a film buff like myself, I don't think I will ever see a movie in quite the same way.

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