Sunday, January 22, 2017

Not to live in the past, but ...

The last novel that I mentioned in the prior blog post reminds me of what is surely the most astounding 3-film run in the history of cinema: Hitchcock's Vertigo, followed by North by Northwest, followed by Psycho.

The first of these was so perverse and personal that, by his standards, it was both a critical and commercial failure at the time. So he decided: "I'll show them," by making one of the most delightful and perfectly commercial films ever, albeit still wholly rooted in his own distinctive feel for paranoia. Then, when the studios wanted him to just keep making more of the same, he went for maximum shock and discomfort, at a time when doing this was daring and startling.

The individual greatness of each of these three films is augmented by seeing how they change course and react to each other.

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