By Richard Schickel
Time magazine's mythical, award-winning movie critic Richard Schickel sat down on various events with frighteningly gifted motion picture director Alfred Hitchcock. Spoiler alert: He discovered what made the fellow in the back of The Birds fly. right here, during this short-form e-book, is Hitchcock's tale.
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Additional resources for Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Film
Going through the looking glass is to enter a place of different scales and where time may run backwards as well as forwards. Yet there is something else here to do with frames. The looking glass is, after all, a mirror, a framing device, and in La Jetée we are given the opportunity of viewing photography through the frame of cinema. Conversely, and fittingly for the reflective symmetry of the mirror, we also get to see cinema through the frame of photography. 20 As Dubois notes, Marker’s film is exemplary in this practice.
There is a sobriety to these pictures of scenes, animals and people; the subjects are accorded full attention by the camera. The peacetime bedroom with its La Jetée | 27 dishevelled bed and drawn-back chair is photographed as though someone has just left the room. Arranged as a classical composition, it is backlit with varying degrees of light falling across surfaces and objects, and given perspective and dimension. The landscape of animals grazing in a field takes in the detail of the horns of the goats, the leaves of the tree as they catch the light, the shadows cast by a low sun.
It is a photography of dramatic action that generates a dynamic relation between images, that suggests reflexive relations between stills and in fact suggests movement. This is the style used in the scenes where we would expect it, in the action sequences. On the pier, in the experiments of the camp and in the growing relationship of the man and woman as they move through the park and the museum, the camera provides a point and counterpoint. The photography here works along a different axis than it does in the landscape and portraits, which both support a dimension of time suspended and spatialised.