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Thursday, 5 March 2009

Getting Hitched?

Do you know who said this?

"A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it". And,

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake... Revenge is sweet and not fattening!"

Here is a clue:

hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

Have you got it yet?

Hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos "Always make the audience suffer as much as possible".

Incidentally, in passing, I have seen a couple of foreign language films recently, which have very much given me pause for thought...

I saw this one last night: The Yacoubian Building (2007), based on a novel by Alaa Al Aswany, it offers a panoramic view of contemporary Egypt, glimpsed through the stories of a number of fairly challenging folk living in (and in the case of the poorest, living on the rooftop of), the Yacoubian Building in Cairo. There's Zaki, a faded aristocrat or Pasha, Bothayna, the beautiful, poor girl he falls for, a young student seduced into religious extremism, and Haj Azzam, a rich businessman, wishing to take a second, but secret wife, among other characters.

I've never seen an Egyptian film before, and found it thought-provoking. My almost 3 year old niece is mixed heritage - Her dad is in fact from Cairo, and this made me think strongly about the country of her father's birth, which I have yet to visit.

The second film I slouched before was from Belgium - Have you seen many Belgian films yourself, I wonder? I'll bet you've sampled Belgian Chocolate or the country's amazingly rich and diverse beer? I know I have!

Anyhoo, this was the Flemish film: Rosie: The Devil In My Head (1998), which offered an insight into the troubled upbringing, in a deeply industrial Antwerp, of the teenaged Rosie, of the film's title.

I won't spoil the film for you by giving much away, but I found it charming and intriguing by turns, curious and ultimately a bit sad. The film attracted many awards for its cast and director, but of the talented young actress, Aranka Coppen, playing Rosie, I can find no further (Internet) trace... If anyone knows what she went on to do next, I'd love to hear it?

I adore film, especially in foreign languages but when, last week doing my usual half-listening to the TV, while tippy-tappying away here with my toes in Blogland, GJ was watching a very interesting programme with British presenter, Jonathan Ross, 'interviewing' Alfred Hitchcock...

This got me thinking on Hitchcock's oeuvre and his considerable influence on the movie industry. AH - 07 Pictures, Images and Photos

When you look at this director's work overall, it is more than impressive, and I hope to use some of the words attributed to 'Hitch' over many years, to illustrate some aspects of his life and work over the next couple of days, if that's all right with you, mes cinephiles?!

hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos "A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake".

"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out".

Hitch is said to have offered us these reflections, "Luck is everything... My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I'm fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn't make a good suspense film".

And isn't that what we think most of Hitch, that he was the consummate master of suspense, keeping us, as stiff as a board, on the edge of our seat, observing, (far from calmly), the fate of the heroes and heroines, victims and villains, up on the wide silver screen?

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder".

"Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare".

Hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

When, later in life, Hitch was accepting the American Film Institute Life Achievement award, he opined importantly: "I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration.

The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat [Patricia Hitchcock], and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville."

Here, Hitch was paying homage to his wife, Alma Reville, to whom he would be married for 54 years. (That's some record these days, n'est-ce pas?) Alma worked alongside her husband for practically her entire career, often unnamed, refining Hitch's scripts and film direction.

Hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

La Goddess Wiki, a keen movie buff herself, had this to say about Alma: "... best known as the wife of Alfred Hitchcock, whom she met while they were working together at Paramount's Famous Players-Lasky studio in London, during the early 1920s.

They married on 2 December 1926 at Brompton Oratory in London. Alma became his collaborator and sounding board, with a keen ear for dialogue and an editor's sharp eye for scrutinizing a film's final version for continuity flaws so minor they escaped Hitchcock's own notice, and that of his top-notch crew.

Cinema was the couple’s passion. A talented editor, Alma worked on British films with directors like Berthold Viertel and Maurice Elvey, though her main focus was her husband’s work. She was particularly good at revising dialogue and spotting inconsistencies in his plots".

Vertigo ( Hitchcock ) Pictures, Images and Photos

Did you know that? I've heard it's often the case that, behind many successful men, stands an intelligent woman?!

hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

"To make a great film you need three things - the script, the script and the script".

"Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf.

What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.

The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them..."

Wiki, again - Sometimes, you just cannot shut the Goddess up! : "Hitchcock became famous for his expert and largely unrivalled control of pace and suspense, and his films draw heavily on both fear and fantasy. The films are known for their droll humour and witticisms, and these cinematic works often portray innocent people caught up in circumstances beyond their control or understanding".

Hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

We all know about that, don't we? Don't we all struggle with circumstances and sometimes a hand dealt by fate, which we cannot control or barely even understand?

Hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

Go on, admit it, now I've whet your appetite, you want to know more about the life and work of the man who said this:

"These are bagpipes. I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig".

And of Tallulah Bankhead's lack of undergarments. Hitch said : "I didn't know whether to send her to make up or the hairdresser".

Hitchcock Pictures, Images and Photos

A demain, mes chums! Toodles!


Derrick said...

Hello Fhina,

Thought I'd get in first!

Mr H certainly knew how to make us shudder and JUMP! And there are loads of his films that I've yet to see. But I've never been too keen to be frightened to death!

Good sayings, most of which I didn't know - but that's me all over!

Artist Unplugged said...

Hitchcock was a genius with his movies and seemed quite the character himself. I never knew his wife was such an integral part in his moviemaking. My daughter is taking a film class in high school and they watch mostly old films. It has really opened her eyes to many of the older films, actors and directors. I've never found it very enjoyable to be scared from a movie but suspense is pretty enjoyable! Never watched alot of foreign films, must take the opportunity.

Protege said...

I did not know all these facts about Hitchcock and definitely nothing about his wife. Interesting. The phrase "behind every great man is a great woman", comes quite to its right here.;)

French Fancy said...

*"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder"*

hear hear

The Birds still chills me to the bone - and that's without the 'in-your-face' horror and suspense of today. He was a genius.


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

l just keep scrolling down too far on purpose to get another glimpse of the long lashes and hunk that was Mr. Diamond!! god he had it...phew....another hot flush!!

We are all hicthcockians in this house...film buffs we think we all are too!! But l surprise surprise, not, am the one who loves the foreign films...Moannie will remeber the french film she, me and dad watched in hysterics..maybe she can tell it in a funny way, l cant, but it creases me up just thinking about it!! she will recall the nom/title!! I have the classics of course, and Jean de florette, Manon et Cinema Paradiso, Life is beautiful, ET L'HOMME DE TRAIN avec lui!!! and the recent Piaf film....so on...l can't think straight as I am so bleeding HOT...

great post....btw l'm off tonight to see Young victoria, looks like it could be good, hope its not trite too....

presious said...

Actually, I've heard the saying, "Behind every good man is a strong woman" many times. I truly believe it even though it is not an absolute statement.

In my humble opinion, we women have to be very patient with our men. Some with the absence of their own fathers while others may be mama's boys, not to mention those inbetween, they just don't get it. They can only handle one task at a time and, for the most part, they are still little boys internally Lol!

When I was married, my husband, now friend, would say, "The ladies at work said 'thank you' for dressing me." I found those statements hilarious. So, I made it a point to get his clothes out the night before for him.

Gotta love 'em, but they require constant patience and ongoing training...over and over again! Lol!

Michelle said...

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder".

That has been my mantra since I've been going to see films. 2 hours or thereabouts.

Great post Fhina!!! I love me some Hitchcock!!!

How are you today dear girl?

carma said...

Great Hitchcock quotes. He was quite a character :-)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Hello darlings - I am glad my select audience is enjoying my trawl through Mr H - Dial H for Horror, in fact...

I shall be over to see your blogs tres soon, I pwomise - I shall be auto-posting tomoz, (I've finally mastered, I hope, how to do it!); ~ And, as I am being tied into a hairdresser's chair for a well-needed tidy-up before my friend's wedding I shall be at on Saturday, all being well! And I've got a doctor's appointment Friday afternoon...

So, please know, I am not ignoring you, but the Vicar might have something to say if I am tippy-tappying away during the service, and I don't want to offend my friends at their lovely Wedding Reception on Saturday, and finally, I don't want to get hair spray on the keyboard - I am glued here enough as it is already, mes darlings! See you soon xxooxx

Anonymous said...

I adore foreign films! Have always loved Hitchcock He had the right amount of scary minus the gory.

shabby girl said...

I loved the line: What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.
Today I was reading an article in AARP mag (yes, I'm old enough to get that) in an interview with Jim Lehrer. He was asked how he got the inspiration for his novels. Part of his response was, "It was Bernard Malamud who said that if you're going to write fiction, you'd better never, ever let your mind go beyond about 16 years old." They both understood that.
Hitchcock was incredible! His wife evidently had some very real talent as well.
There is a documentary we watched several years back on both of them. It was great!

Chairman Bill said...

I liked him best in Starsky & Hitch.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Meredith: It is true, no need to share the gory, apart from perhaps Mrs Bates' fizzog - Great stuff...

Help, I am being dragged off the computer from GJ - Gah! x

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Shabby Girl - Hi, hon - You have some deeply interesting things to say - Thank you so much for taking the time to add them in to this debate! I didn't realise until I dug deeper exactly how much Hitch had achieved, with the full support of Alma, in his lifetime - Puts some of the movie industry today in the shade.

Chairman: Do you mean the series that had Huggy Pants in it?!

Folks: My hair is lovely, if I say so myself - I look heaps better, although OH says I have a 'sticky out face' again! xxx

Lisa said...

hitchcok is enjoying a renewal of interest with todays kids- my son ( 16) adores his work
Lisa x

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Lisa: That's really great news - and I think it's about time for such good movie-making, which might influence a whole new generation of young folk! Great stuff! Thank you for sharing! x

noordinator said...

In imdb, on the board for Aranka Coppens (Rosie, 1998), I had asked:
"is there any other movie of aranka coppens" (Wed Jun 15 2005)

Five years later
"Taylor_belongs_with_me" answered me yesterday (Mon Apr 12 2010):
"Nope. She hasn't done anything else for tv after that.
She now works in a school keeping toddlers busy during the day. :D


http://www.klavertje4vzw.be/images/personeel%20lotus/Aranka%20Coppens, %20Lier.jpg

She'll always have a special place in my heart.

I [[love4]] Taylor, 4ever & always

Something I wrote earlier...

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