Captivating Hitchcock Silents
That blonde woman of mystery, the frantic flight in handcuffs, the knifewielding psycho and the gnawing suspense that serve to perpetuate the cycle of procrastination… The mention of the name of the 'Master of Suspense’is sure to elicit a shimmer of recognition from even non-fans of thrillers. Alfred Hitchcock applied his Midas touch to turn crime into an entertainment form, reigning as a master of understated terror on the silver screen on both sides of the Atlantic for over half of the 20 century. Until recently, film researchers looked only as far back as his 1930s talkies to probe his psychological acuity when in fact the biggest clue lies in his silents. Now his 10 extant silents–nine of which survive–have been restored to their former glory with new digital technology. Following a major funding campaign, film reels preserved in the British Film Institute, some of them made from unstable and highly flammable nitrate film stock, together with materials sourced from other international archives, were meticulously checked, cleaned and repaired and then digitally captured shot-by-shot for editing and restoration. More vivid, crisp and vibrant than ever, the resulting works, ‘Hitchcock 9’, open a window on the recurring motifs (or obsessions as some would call them) and threads of gripping suspense that were to be woven into a tapestry of Hitchcockian mysteries.
Screening Courtesy of British Film Institute
Partner Organisation: British Council
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