Try looking up some of the original 1960 reviews of "Psycho." They were not at all kind, especially for a film that would later become canonized as one of the great masterpieces. Critics thought it was far too violent and in some senses simply depraved and that Hitchcock was wasting his talent on such material. Stanley Kauffman, for example, accused Hitchcock of shocking the audience "past horror-entertainment into resentment." Clearly he didn't watch the film with an actual audience.
James Kendrick, Ph.D.
Dept. of Communication Studies
Film and Digital Media Division
From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Longworth [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 2010 9:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCREEN-L] Negative criticism on Alfred Hitchcock as an auteur
I'm an undergraduate student studying Cultural and Media Studies at
the University of Newcastle, Australia. The reason I am writing is I
have a major essay on Alfred Hitchcock as an auteur, and to make my
essay more interesting I'd like to locate articles / books which
criticise Hitchcock somewhat negatively. I've been directed to
criticism from feminist scholars, but was wondering where else I
should be looking, and if anyone could please recommend any articles
where I may concentrate my study.
Apart from the feminist angle, I know of a couple of articles written
by Andrew Sarris who comments on Hitchcock's films not being taken
seriously in the 1960s because they weren't considered serious films
like what the European directors were making such as Antonioni and Bergmann.
Other place I could go with my essay is for Hitchcock's use of
violence in Frenzy - I actually find the strangle scenes today pretty
disturbing, and I understand critical reception to the film's use of
violence was mixed. I think Rope might have been criticised also from
a moralistic point of view. There is also Hitchcock's attack on
religion in his films, such as the Catholic church, in how he
represents / shows nuns in Vertigo, which is the key film i'll be
discussing in my paper.
I hope someone might be able to recommend me to resources articles
giving a negative criticism, or mixed criticism of Hitchcock, because
mostly everyone says positive things about his films. I seek to make
my essay a mixture of positive and negative criticisms.
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