Tag Archives: alicia malone

Malone and Davies on Hitchcock

malone-and-davies-on-hitchcock

Good evening.

It’s hard to believe that it took six-and-a-half years for us to finally reach Alfred Hitchcock, but such is the unpredictability of the Hell Is For Hyphenates formula. And once we reached him, we had to go big with not just one special guest, but two!

We’d begun talking with Alicia earlier in the year about joining us on the show, and she’d flagged that she would very much like to talk about the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Just like two strangers meeting on a train, or an advertising executive calling out to a page boy looking for a spy named George Kaplan, or a missing woman’s rare tea label catching on the window outside your cabin, this turned out to be a very fortunate coincidence.

See, we managed to score an interview with legendary filmmaker Terence Davies, who had said that he’d be interested in talking with us about not all of Hitchcock’s films, but three in particular. The timing could not have been better.

The chat with Davies was conducted when he was in Australia as a guest of the Melbourne International Film Festival. He was there for the premiere of his film Sunset Song, and MIFF generously allowed us some time to talk about something other than the film Davies was here to promote. Sunset Song has just this month been released into Australia cinemas, so if you’re in the country, do make an effort to go and see it.

As fans of the 2010 Davies memoir-documentary Of Time and City, we were secretly hoping that he would as delightfully acerbic and ruthless as his narration of that film. We were only slightly disappointed that he turned out to be the nicest, most delightful man, and one we would have happily chatted to for several hours or days had his schedule permitted it. But we were honoured to be given the time that we did get, and we would like to thank him, MIFF, as well as publicists Asha Holmes and Frances Mariani.

vertigo
Here I was recorded, and there I was uploaded. It was only a moment for you; you took no notice.

But the Davies segment itself comes at the end of the show. The bulk of this month’s episode actually marks our first ever tri-continental recording, with Sophie in London, Lee in Melbourne, and guest Alicia in Los Angeles. It made the scheduling a little challenging, but it was worth it. A technical issue caused us to delay the recording by 24 hours, at which point Alicia was forced to call in on her phone as she drove to record a video for the film website Fandango. Given how many Hitchcock films feature a protagonist on the run, this felt entirely appropriate. Had Hitchcock made films in the era of mobile phones and Skype, there’s little doubt he would have employed this setup for some exciting thriller.

Before we get to Hitchcock, we compare notes on some of this month’s releases, including Oliver Stone’s Snowden, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, and Rachel Lang’s Baden Baden.

The “further reading” section of these show notes could have been endless, given the infinite number of Hitchcock-related links available on the web, but here are some of our favourites:

  • Every single Hitchcock cameo ever is collected in this fan edit video, featuring everything from his first appearance in The Lodger to his ingenious inclusion in Lifeboat.
  • This jaw-dropping 3 minute time-lapse reconstruction of Rear Window reconstructs the entire building and courtyard, showing the events of the movie as they would have been seen in wide shot.
  • If you want to ruin Hitchcock’s Rebecca for yourself, this sketch from British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb reimagines the film from the perspective of the first Mrs De Winter. It is absolutely spot-on.
  • In this episode, Alicia mentions her talk with Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint and Tippi Hedren for Schmoes Know. You can check out her encounter with Hitchcock’s icy blondes here.
  • In 2014, our host Paul Anthony Nelson decided the Hi4H workload wasn’t nearly crippling enough, and undertook his own side project. From Pleasure To Plot was his year-long trek through Hitchcock’s career: 52 films in 52 weeks. If you’re wondering what Paul would have made of Hitchcock, you can go back to the blog and check out his individual entries and final summary.

Outro music: score from North By Northwest (1959), composed by Bernard Hermann, and the score from Psycho (1960), also composed by Bernard Hermann

The Alfred Hitchcock episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring special guests Alicia Malone and Terence Davies, can be heard by subscribing to our show on iTunes, listening in via Stitcher Smart Radio, or you can download it or stream it directly from our website here.

terence-and-lee
Lee with guest Terence Davies, taken on 29 July 2016 (photo credit: Frances Mariani)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – September 2016

Film reporter Alicia Malone joins us this month as we look back at some of the key films of September, including Oliver Stone’s Snowden, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, and Rachel Lang’s Baden Baden. We then jump into the filmography and career of one of cinema’s most recognisable auteurs, Alfred Hitchcock, and talk about his classics, his lesser-known films, and how his work changed cinema forever. Then, in a special bonus segment, we are then joined by renowned English filmmaker Terence Davies, who discusses his three favourite Hitchcock films, and what effect they had on him.

The Alfred Hitchcock Cheat Sheet

hitchcockdirects

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double that will not only make for a great evening’s viewing, but bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

hitchcockfilms

NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) and PSYCHO (1960)

How do you find two films that sum up a filmography like that of Alfred Hitchcock’s? Do we pick a British film and an American film? One from his silent era and one from his Selznick era? There are endless permutations of Hitchcock to choose from, but if you’re venturing into his works for the first time, these are the two films that should give you a fair sketch of the director everyone is familiar with. Our evening begins with North By Northwest, the mistaken identity everyman espionage comedy thriller starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. With a perfect script by Ernest Lehman, stunning cinematography by Robert Burks, and a serious contender for the best Bernard Hermann score of all time, this is the perfect instance of Hitchcock having as much fun as he ever had. So many of his films feature ordinary people displaying bafflement as they’re drawn into international intrigue, and North By Northwest sits proudly at the top of this sub-genre. Once North is over, scare yourself senseless with Psycho, the film that changed cinema forever in more ways than one. 56 years on it’s still terrifying as hell, with its impact undiminished by decades of twists and turns being pop cultured to bloody death. If you’re yet to see this masterpiece of horror, now is the time to check in to the Bates Motel.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen North By Northwest, seek out 1954’s Rear Window. It’s an absolute nail-biter, so not quite the romp that North is, but as high-concept Technicolor Hitchcocks go, it’s pretty unbeatable. If you can’t get or have already seen Psycho, be sure to check out 1963’s The Birds. Its bright, attractive palette is at glorious odds with the palpable dread of its When Nature Attacks thrills. How many other filmmakers could scare the hell out of you and also make you want to move immediately to Bodega Bay?

The Hidden Gem: One of Hitchcock’s earliest films was also one of his best. 1927’s The Lodger is a silent thriller that best presages the distinct style he would one day settle in to. It’s entirely gripping, features technical flourishes that would look revolutionary if it was used today.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Alicia Malone talking Alfred Hitchcock, will be released on 30 September 2016.

Our Next Hyphenate Alicia Malone

alicia-malone
Film reporter, TV presenter and September 2016 Hyphenate Alicia Malone

We are very excited to announce our next guest will be Alicia Malone, Australian film reporter, TV host, and lifelong lover of cinema. Our favourite part of her bio (nicked from her website) is this: “While at school she created a Film Club, electing herself President. Eventually the School Principal asked her not to get up in assembly to talk about movies anymore.” Hi4H is nothing if not designed for people with this exact origin story.

After numerous hosting duties in Australia, including covering the AFI Awards and Tropfest, Alicia packed her things and headed to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune, both of which she has found. She has covered Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and the Oscars, and interviewed just about every movie star you’d care to mention. You can generally find her film coverage at Fandango, Screen Junkies, HitFix, and dozens of other outlets. In 2015, she delivered a TED talk about the lack of girls in film, and why that needs to change.

And now – most importantly of all – she is joining Hell Is For Hyphenates. But which filmmaker will she be discussing?

None other than the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock!

directed-by-alfred-hitchcock

That’s right. After six-and-a-half years of the show, we’re now finally getting to one of the biggest names in filmmaking, and certainly one of the most influential. He hardly needs an introduction: Psycho, The Birds, North By Northwest, Rebecca, Rear Window and Vertigo are all part of our DNA. How many directors are instantly recognisable from a single-line silhouette drawing alone?

psycho-hitch-hi4h

There is also something else in this episode. Something we’re not going to tell you about just yet. After all, an episode about Hitchcock deserves special treatment, and this edition of Hi4H will contain a fairly sizeable surprise. It seems only fitting that we should leave you in suspense until the last possible moment.

What will this surprise be? And what effect did the films of Alfred Hitchcock have on a young Alicia? Just what are the 39 steps?

Join us on September 30 when we find out!

Our next filmmaker of the month, Alfred Hitchcock