Sunday, 23 June 2013

Alfred Hitchcock A Life in Darkness by Patrick McGilligan

"When Hitchcock wasn't dreaming of grand-scale epics, he was recalling past ideas that had eluded him."

This whopping volume attempts to provide quite a comprehensive view on the life and works of my favourite director. I guess reading an 864 book is not the best way to reach my 250 book goal for this year, but this non-fiction work was concerned with one of my favourite subjects - queue the Marionette's Funeral March.
Focusing mainly on the auteur's epic work this tome provides some really intriguing insight, negating much of the supposition of some of the earlier biographies I have read. There's less of a focus on the impact of the Hitchcock blonde and more emphasis on the collaborative aspects of his works. The input of writers, his wife Alma and other various members of the creative team and the tension inherent in translating a novel into film are central themes. There are some wonderful photos at the centre of the book which add the requisite Hollywood sheen.
Of particular interest is the interaction with Europe - the impact of German techniques, the acclaim from France, in stark contrast to the more pop culture emphasis of the English speaking world. If you, like me, love a bit of Alfred then this book is certain to peak your interest.  5 out of 5 unexplained bird attacks remain unaccounted for.


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