The omnipotent director
I became interested in Hitchcock as a director and as a modern expressionist, when I watched “Psycho” for the first time at age fourteen. Ever since, his films has been an important source of inspiration and provocation to me. His movies has had a tremendous impact on modern and postmodern culture and art, he himself was greatly influenced by the german expressionists from the 1920´s, which dealt with topics such as psychoanalysis, the self reflexivity of modern man, and the uncanny.
In the analytic piece “Notorious: Alfred Hitchcock and contemporary art”, Kerry Brougher talks about some of the links between contemporary art and Hitchcock. He examines the lines between fiction and reality in modernism: “The desire to be someone else, whether it be in the past, present or future is one of modernisms impulses.” Here, Brougher talks about the self obsession, and meta analysis typical for modernist artists. Something that can be observed throughout Hitchcock’s work; the play with identity in “Psycho” and the explicit voyeurism in “Rear Window” – both films referenced endlessly in modern and contemporary art.
“In Psycho the director adopts oblique, almost expressionistic camera angles.”
Freud had a great impact on Hitchcocks development as a director as well, especially the the theory of Das Unheimliche (the uncanny), human desire and unconsciousness. His obsession with the unbalanced state of the modern human mind is used as a cinematic tool to rub out the lines between fiction and reality as he replicates and projects his own desires and angst in his films.
“By breaking down a scene into a collection of stills, we don’t see a film, we see its skeleton, its illustrious corps which has stopped moving, stopped the engagement it had entered upon with the spectator.”
I found this quite appropriate since my current project revolves around the use of stills and the investigation of the idea of a movie, and incorporation of film within memory.