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Alfred Hitchcock - Essay Example

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Alfred Hitchcock Table of Contents I. Biography, Cultural Background 3 II. Historical Period, Culture Represented by Hitchcock and His Work 4 III. Issues of Global Import Presented in Hitchcock's Works 5 IV. Political, Social Justice Concerns Presented in Hitchcock's Movies 6 V…
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Alfred Hitchcock
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Download file to see previous pages Biography, Cultural Background Alfred Hitchcock, an engineer in his early life, was born in London England on the 13th of August, 1899. Graduating out of St. Ignatius College at the University of London, he would become involved with the film industry by 1920 after that early engineering stint, eventually creating a body of work that would earn for him a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1979 among many other accolades, as well as the Academy Award for Best Picture for his very first foray into making a film in America. That first Academy Award bid would cone for the film “Rebecca”. His early path would also leave him out of London and into Hollywood by 1939, where he would eventually be the creator of more than fifty movies, chief among them a number of icons and classics in film: “Psycho”, “Rear Window”, and “39 Steps”. He passed away in 1980, in California (A+E Television Networks; Rampton). Some of his other notable works that have stood the test of time include 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', 'The Lady Vanishes', 'Spellbound' and 'Notorious' (The Criterion Collection); 'The Lodger', 'Sabotage', 'The Wrong Man', 'Vertigo', 'North by Northwest', and 'Strangers on a Train'. In the genre of thriller movies, he is the unsurpassed master, having been credited with essentially giving birth to the genre, even as his other achievements included technical breakthroughs in the making of films, such as the use of the MacGuffin device. He made use of various artistic devices too, pioneering in the use and interplay of elements that include humor, suspense and sexuality to make his memorable and groundbreaking films (Turner Entertainment Networks). Meanwhile, as can be gleaned from his biography and early education, his cultural influences have elements that include his early strict Christian upbringing and education, spiced with his experience as an English film maker, technician and craftsman in America (Schwartz; A+E Television Networks; Rampton; Brooks). On the other hand, it is worthwhile to note that while he is well-known in America and made many of the movies that have earned him his reputation on that side of the Atlantic, his influences also extend to his British cinema period, that time in the 1920's when he made British art films that were said to hew towards the sensibilities and aesthetic of the European cinema as art movement. Two of his works during this period, 'The Lodger' made in 1926 and 'Blackmail' made in 1929 bear these influences (Ryall 7; Derry 3-9; Sterritt 2-5; Sloan 15-18). II. Historical Period, Culture Represented by Hitchcock and His Work Properly speaking one speaks of not one cultural period but four periods as far as the reach and breadth of the work of Alfred Hitchcock is concerned. Historically he is situated in that period from the start of the 20th century to 1980. On the other hand, in terms of the sweep of his work and the compass that that sweep covers culturally, there are properly four periods in his work. One is the silent period, which immediately precedes or overlaps with what has been discussed above as his British period, in the 1920's. Seminal films during this time associated with the silent period include 'The Lodger'. The second phase would be characterized by a string of so-called espionage films, made in the 1930's, and includes such works as '39 Steps' in 1935, 'Sabotage' in 1936, and 'The Secret Agent' also in 1936. Films like 'Rebecca', 'Foreign Correspondent', 'Shadow of a Doubt ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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