On the Screen

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock explores sixteen of the great director’s films, ranging from 1927 to 1972.  Films will include early Expressionist forays; pictures of espionage and intrigue; the “wrong-man” films; big-budget classics; and lesser-known late works; readings will include feminist, psychoanalytic, formalist and historical explorations of Hitchcock’s craft.  We will consider figures such as blackmail, doubt, murder, guilt, marriage, and Hitchcock’s cameos in each film.  In addition, we will analyze aphorisms for which Hitchcock was famous, including the theory of spectatorship bound up with his aim to “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.”

Class will meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week during IAP, from 3.00-6.30.  Each day that class meets, from 3-5 p.m., a new film will be introduced and screened; following that screening, we will have a seminar discussion from 5-6.30.  Short readings in preparation for each class, and brief, informal written responses after each class, will comprise the work for this 6-credit Sampling course.

No previous experience with film analysis or critical theory is presumed.

Films will include:

The Lodger (1927)
Blackmail (1929)
The 39 Steps (1935)
Suspicion (1941)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Spellbound (1945)
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Rear Window (1954)
Notorious (1946)
Rope (1948)
Vertigo (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
Psycho (1960)
The Birds (1963)

*** NOTE: January 27, 2015 the class will be held in Room 1-390***