Volume 23, Issue 2 / February 2019

Presenting Alfred Hitchcock (and Terence Davies)

After 20 plus years it is surprising that Offscreen has never placed a focus on the great British born British-American director Alfred Hitchcock. This issue is in fact split between Hitchcock, and another important contemporary British filmmaker, Terence Davies. Elaine Lennon gets the show started with a tricky analysis of the biopic Hitchcock (2012, Sacha Gervasi) which focuses on the making of Psycho. Lennon makes an otherwise clunky biopic seem fascinating by unraveling the metatextual threads of Scarlet Johannson’s performance as both the off-screen Janet Leigh and the on-screen Marion Crane. This is followed by Graham Daseler’s challenge to the recent upsurge in canonization of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Daseler suggests that Vertigo, recently picked as the greatest film of all-time by many polls, may not even be Hitchcock’s best film! First-time writer Peter Dellolio presents a close formal analysis of Hitchcock’s fascinating technical experiment in real time, Rope. Born in 1945, during Hitchcock’s wonderfully creative Hollywood period, Terence Davies is the subject of the last two articles, Daniel Garrett’s review of Davies’ A Quiet Passion, about the American writer and poet Emily Dickinson and David George Menard’s review of Davies’ earlier semi-autobiographical The Long Day Closes. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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