English 166

Special Topics: Hitchcock's Secret Style

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2012 Miller, D.A.
MW 2-3:30 + films Thurs. 6-9 P.M. 300 Wheeler

Book List

course reader with Rothman, Zizek, et al.; Spoto, Donald: The Art of Alfred Hitchcock; Truffaut, François: Hitchcock


It is the claim of “Hitchcock’s Secret Style” that the work of this famous filmmaker, viewed all over the world and analyzed ad infinitum, has only barely begun to be looked at.  DVD technology, by facilitating a closer attention to Hitchcock’s images, lets us uncover a secret—and baffling—host of “hidden pictures.”  I call these pictures secret because they are visible but inconspicuous, typically obscured from view by a more obvious focus given to our attention.  And I call them baffling because, while demonstrably intentional, they also seem to be pointless; the hidden pictures no not enhance either Hitchcock’s thematic content or his recognizable style; on the contrary, they distract us from both these things.  They are, in a word, counter-productive, and—because the social order demands productivity—it is in this counter-productivity that one grasps the profound anti-social character of classic cinema’s most popular filmmaker.

Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 27; there will be no film screening on Thursday, August 23.

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