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BLOG PREFACE + Hitchcock Preview

Updated: Sep 30, 2018

This is my first post. The idea for the blog came about through a desire to really look critically and specifically into movies, to not just see the story as a whole and become swept in the narrative, but also to record some insight into the tools that allow the viewer to be swept in. Whenever I hear directing giants talk about movies, they talk about them in great detail and it's clear they've not only seen these great films ten or more times, but also have taken the time to analyze why those directors made those decisions, and how those decisions made the movie a classic.

Great, okay. So I realize now that I'm doing this so "officially" I should be starting from around the Griffith/Eisenstein/even Méliès age, (although upon researching, Méliès never made a feature film) to make this as legitimate as possible for my education. A note on that: I found myself watching some of these classic hollywood movies from the 30's - 60's and frankly being lulled to sleep sometimes (maybe because I watch a lot of them on my laptop). But I think a lot of the reason why is I don't understand the context that made them such stand-out movies in their time. That being said, ideally I'd want to go from the very beginning, but I think as a compromise, since I'm all ready geared up on this blog and have a decent list of Hitchcock ready to go, I'll watch the movies chronologically by director. That brings me to The Lodger, the first of my list of Hitchcock's that I have access to, through a website called FilmStruck.

My Hitchcock line-up:

the lodger (1927)

downhill (1927)

the farmers wife (1928)

the manxman (1929)

the skin game (1931)

rich and strange (1931)

number 17 (1932)

the man who knew too much (1934)

the 39 steps (1935)

sabotage (1936)

young and innocent (1937)

the lady vanishes (1938)

rebecca (1940)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Rope (1948)

rear window (1954)

trouble with harry (1955)

man who knew too much (1956)

vertigo (1958)

north by northwest (1959)

psycho (1960)

So the goal is to post about 1. why the story works and 2. what makes the story work (what lighting/production design/etc. decisions did the director have to make to realize the story).

From shooting my own live action film last month (dark-comedy stated to be released to festivals early next year), every single creative decision has a reason behind it, and the reason is carefully figured out well before (ideally) the shooting date. And that reasoning is all driven by how best to tell the story. If there's something short and sweet-- something interesting I find out through research-- an anecdote on the hurdles a director had to go through to get a specific result, etc-- I'll share it, although those are gonna distract from the goal to focus on the art form of the work, so...don't expect much research of that kind.

One last thing: I'm prioritizing all my rigorous, disciplined work in my schedule over this blog (currently: writing a feature film script, reading hamlet over and over, 9-5 job), so don't expect this all the time. I still might watch these movies and not write a huge blog post about em, maybe just a few brief sentences. My blog post lengths will be prioritized by how much impact the film had on me vs how much time I have that day. Perf.

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