Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mass Murder and the Modern Age


There's lots of renewed interest in Hitchcock lately, perhaps the best filmmaker to never win an Oscar. You have Disturbia, a scarcely veiled remake of the master's Rear Window; you have Fracture which uses Hitchcock as a touchpoint in its marketing strategy (it is a suspense/thriller "in the tradition of Hitchcock"); and you have Vacancy a new "motel horror," a genre crowned by Psycho. I was thinking of doing work on Hitchcock for my PhD dissertation, but I'm reconsidering; he does have a whole academic industry picking him to pieces. Does this industry really need another gadfly growing up from maggot status in the master's corpse, oops, I mean corpus!

On the other hand, there are those people who were in the Hitchcock discussion group that I exiled myself from. Their analysis seemed so wishy-washy that it instilled me with a will to show them how it's really done. The discussion group was more like a cult; say a word against the moderator or his acolytes, and consider yourself hen-pecked. No thanks. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I want to pursue Hitchcock because he is eminently worthy of a creative and thorough eye and ear, such as mine are. Too many film scholars are epigones of epigones. I could complain, or I could make my own contribution; I think I would prefer to choose the latter.

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