Cinematography Diet – Part 2: Hitchcock Week

by Emon Hassan on May 2, 2011

Ended up watching coupla more movies than the ones mentioned in the previous list. Rewatched Days of Heaven (again!!), Badlands. Caught up on some TV: HOUSE.

This week’s pretty strong. Out of the 9 movies I picked up from the library, 5 are by Hitchcock!! 1 Tarkovksy, and 1 Tony Richardson (recommended by a friend on Facebook), and then there’s Black Narcissus. The last one is Rock N’ Roll 25th anniversary Hall of Fame concert DVD from last year.

I’d like to say I’ve watched 95% of Hitchcock films over the years, a number of them several times, but percentages can be pulled out of the ass. Re-watching these with the purpose of studying visual storytelling and blocking (I’ve tried watching movies with sound turned off but can’t bear it after a while). Shots in his movies are masterfully set up and have precise camera moves although they rarely, if ever, attract attention to themselves.

1. Technically it’s 9 Hitchcock films if I count all the contents of the first DVD:  The Early Years of the Master of Suspense, which has – The Manxman, Murder!, Rich and Strange, The Ring, and The Skin Game.

2. North By Northwest. Cinematographer: Robert Burks (shot 12 Hitchcock films, started when he was 19, died in a house fire at 58).

I can not mention George Tomasini, editor of 9 Hitchcock films (some of his best), who was born on 1909 – the same year as Burks.

3. Vertigo. Cinematography: Robert Burks

4. The Lady Vanishes: No trailer. Cinematography: Jack E. Cox

5. The Wrong Man. Cinematography: Robert Burks

6. Black Narcissus: I think I tried to watch this many years ago but never got to. Cinematographer: The great Jack Cardiff.

7. The Sacrifice. Cinematographer: The great Sven Nykvist.

8. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Cinematographer: Walter Lassally (shot 104 films, so far, won Oscar for Zorba the Greek, and published the book, Itinerant Cameraman)

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