Hi Peter -
A seminal, but nonetheless slanted, 'anti-Hitchcock' article was
Australian poet and critic Charles Higham's "Hitchcock's World" in 'Film
Quarterly' many years ago.
For a recent critique of Hitchcock's attitude to women in his films, see
a piece in 'The Guardian' by 'Bidisha':
(I have to say that it is seriously mis-guided, and that far more
perspective comes from Bidisha's readers in the Comments section, so be
sure to read that too!)
The same article prints, alongside, a link to another, 2008 'Guardian'
piece on Hitchcock's sadism that is marginally better.
But you are treading dangerous ground, mate! Robin Wood's observation
long ago, 'Hitchcock was too sophisticated for the sophisticated', still
When the other day I sent the URL for the Bidisha article to an English
friend who writes for 'Sight and Sound', he responded that Hitchcock
sometimes set himself up for criticism by some of his - joking -
comments in interviews, such as his 'torture the heroine' remark (from
the French playwright Sardou). Actually, it's still not bad advice for
a working screenwriter, etc.! But, quite seriously, you must not miss
what I call the (at least) 'dual vision' of Hitchcock.
To my English friend, I noted the gist of my recent chapter on
"Hitchcock's literary sources" forthcoming in 'Companion to Hitchcock'
> My chapter (on Dickens, o.c., and Flaubert, and the literary
> Symbolists, and Chesterton, and a score of others) made much of the
> notion of 'Romantic irony' and 'dualistic vision' and dealing in
> paradox as Chesterton did - Chesterton, who inherited from countless
> 19C writers a pessimistic outlook but which he soon stood firmly
> against, with what he called his '/anti/-pessimism'. Being both
> pessimistic and anti-pessimistic (and dualistic in other ways) -
> /that's/ Hitchcock for you, I think!
I agree with George Robinson's post to you that Raymond Durgnat 'has
some interesting and quirky things to say about the director' - though
not just in his PSYCHO book but also his earlier 'The Strange Case of
Alfred Hitchcock'. But even Durgnat could, at times, be not
I am reading Norman Holland's piece on VERTIGO that he posted here for
you, Peter. It looks very interesting although - as Norm said - it
Metta - KM
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