So the trailer is out for Fox Searchlight‘s latest cinematic craving “Hitchcock“; a biopic starring Anthony Hopkins as the famed director during his trials and tribulations during the makings of his iconic film, “Psycho“.
The film features a roster of talent that include Jessica Biel as actress Vera Miles, Scarlett Johansson as the lead with the bad deed, Janet Leigh, Toni Collette as dedicated production assistant Peggy Robertson, and Helen Mirren as his loving and loyal partner-in-crime Alma Reville.
Set for release on November 23, expect the master of suspense to inspire and influence us all once again! From the looks of the trailer, this Hitchcock shows great panache when it comes to business, a savvy for story telling, and a committed loving and working relationship with his wife, Alma.
“Suspense is like a woman. The more room she leaves to the imagination, the greater the emotion and the expectation. The audience is much more frightened by what it imagines than by what it actually sees. There’s nothing terrifying about an explosion, only the expectation of it.”
-Alfred Hitchcock to Bernard Parkin
It was around the time of “Psycho“‘s release that the British born director began garnering notice for his unique artistic contribution to popular culture and the cinema. The french in particular took a special admiration for the director, who they formidably christened a grand auteur of the medium – a worthy honor (they don’t take that term lightly, en France).
Indeed, his films inhabit a very special singular world, one which can only be simplified to a single term: Hitchcock.
The settings of his stories become a collage of reality, dreaming, and desire. The inhabitants are as stylized and edited as the story lines – always modern and even hip; the heroes are all dashing, the man Hitchcock idolized for himself, and the heroines typically blonde with assets.
They all play pawns in a wicked game of cat and mouse meticulously planned and drafted by Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, script supervisor and Hitchcock’s private second set of eyes (it was her who noticed Janet Leigh swallowing after her death scene which would later have to be altered from the negative).
When actors asked their motivation for a scene, he simply stated “Your salary”. If they couldn’t push to the emotional degree he needed for the scene, he said “Fake it”. And when asked if he felt actors were cattle, he quickly corrected that he only felt they should be “treated” as such.
While Hitchcock never won a coveted Best Director statuette at the Academy Awards, he did receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy for his contributions to the industry.
It was an impressive career lasting from the early 1920s up to his last film in 1976, “Family Plot“.
There’s no denying the influence the man has had on popular culture. Many suggest there wouldn’t have been a James Bond if it weren’t for “North by Northwest” kicking off the action genre the way he it did. Others cite Hitchcock for his innovation in the medium, always adapting and quickly changing with the times.
Designers such as Alexander McQueen have cited Hitchcock’s influence, and with “Hitchcock” kick starting you can expect to see more and more of the master’s presence come into play. Best thing is, both men and women can easily cite these films for alluring, modern, and sophisticated looks that will have everyone saying “WHOA”.
And for as dark or complex his story lines took him, he was always able to hold on to his enviable sense of humor. From his various walk-on parts in every film, to the character he invented of himself – Hitchcock was a wildly entertaining individual drenched in that very dry, very British sense of humor.
Hopefully “Hitchcock” hits the nail on the head with his one, but with such a talented cast and crew, and the impeccably talented Sir Anthony Hopkins at the wheel, there’s no doubt in my mind this film will continue to pave the legacy that we can simply sum up as his very own.
We picked out some of our favorite photos of the Hitch hamming it up for the camera to get those creative juices flowing, and to show the softer, sillier side of this irreverent genius.
For more Hitchcock style, we recommend “Hitchcock Style” by Jean-Pierre Dufreigne. A fantastically illustrated book from Assouline, full of insight into the sum of the parts that make for the iconic Hitchcock look. Check it out!
Thanks for reading, everyone!
Until next time,
<<Check out the British Film Institute’s Ode to Hitchcock>>