Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

We enjoy “projects” when we’re watching films. We looked at all four versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (and I read the book), and then went so far as to visit all the filming locations we were able to find.

So our latest project includes several projects. We’ve been picking a director and seeing all of his (so far; no woman I know of has a huge backlist) films. We began with the Coen Brothers. Easy, they only have 15 feature films, and all but one of them are a pleasure to watch again. We moved on to Stanley Kubrick, another easy one with only 13 features and 3 short subjects, all of them (except the unremarkable shorts) very good to brilliant, except the first one, Fear and Desire, which almost no one has ever seen. We saw it! Don’t bother! It sucks!

So now we moved on to a real challenge. Mr. Hitchcock made no less than 51 movies, and all but one are available from one source or another. (One is a “lost film,” no copies known to exist.) Most of them are Special Edition DVDs, with documentaries that have commentary from the likes of Peter Bogdanovich and Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell. Some of them from the early days are heavy going, I must say. But the huge majority are among the finest movies ever made. We have had a lot of fun over several months, and now we’ve come to the end.

And now the question arises: Who’s next? Kurosawa? I feel he’s one of the top five directors who ever lived, but I’m wondering if I’m up to watching 30 films in Japanese all in a row. I’ve never been a huge fan of Fellini or Bergman, though both made some masterpieces. Woody Allen? He has made (so far) 43 movies.