Hitchcock – The master of suspense

You may have recently seen the cinema release of the film ‘Hitchcock’ starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Helen Mirren or the BBC dramatisation ‘The Girl’, telling the story of Hitchcock’s infatuation with actress Tippi Hedren, what is clear is that the popularity and interest in Alfred Hitchcock has not waned over the years. Indeed the fascination of the man and his films has been the subject of many books.

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (1899 – 1980) was a British film director and producer.  For over 50 years he Hitchcockproduced films, silent and ‘talkies’, his directorial style making his films instantly recognisable. Beginning his career in London, he rapidly moved onto Hollywood making the transition from title designer of silent film to director in five short years.

Some of his more famous films include North by Northwest, Rear window, Vertigo and of course Pyscho. And did you know that 2013 marks the 50thanniversary of the release of Alfred Hitchcocks The Birds?

If you are interested in reading all about the man behind these and many more films both  ASSL and Bute have ample choice.

Recent purchases include:

Pomerance, Murray (2013): Alfred Hitchcock’s America. Cambridge: Polity.
ISBN 9780745653037
Classmark: ASSL – PN1998.A3.H4.P6

Rothman, William (2012) Hitchcock : the murderous gaze. Albany: State University of New York.
ISBN 9781438443164
Classmark ASSL- PN1998.A3.H4.R6

Leitch, Thomas & Poague, Leland (editors) (2011) A companion to Alfred Hitchcock. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
ISBN 9781405185387
Classmark ASSL – PN1998.A3.H4.C6

Yacowar, Maurice (2010) Hitchcock’s British films. Detroit: Wayne State Univerity Press.
ISBN 9780814334942
Classmark ASSL – PN1998.A3.H4.Y2

And if it’s the films you want to see then you can find many of the Hitchcock classics at ASSL and Bute libraries.

The cinematic scientist

Science5 A recent acquisition to the Arts & Social Studies library is ‘Mad, Bad and Dangerous? The scientist in the cinema’ by Andrew Frayling.

Now most of us will be familiar with the image on screen of the mad scientist and Hollywood’s portrayal of the scientist as mad and deranged is commonplace – but is this image justified and why is technology often portrayed as something to fear?

In this entertaining and thought-provoking book Frayling claims that
“… cinema has had an uneasy relationship with science and technology: scientists are almost always impossibly mad or impossibly saintly and technology is very bad for you.” Is the scientist destineScience1d always to be portrayed as mad or nerdy? Frayling explores the history of, what he calls the ‘cinematic scientist’ and how Hollywood would use the scientist to represent the technological phobias of the time, from the fear of poison gas in the 1920’s to genetic engineering today.

Frayling, Andrew (2005) Mad, Bad and Dangerous? The scientist in the cinema. London : Reaktion.
ISBN: 9781861892850
Classmark: PN1995.9.S267.F7 (ASSL)