‘Good e-e-e-vening.’ It’s scare timeDo you get the chills every time you take a shower after seeing “Psycho”? Do you feel woozy when climbing stairs after watching “Vertigo”?
If so, you’re likely ready for more thrillers from the great director Alfred Hitchcock.
A Hitchcock retrospective will be held in Seoul from Friday to April 11. The Seoul Cinematheque, where ardent cinephiles gather regularly, has organized the series of movies.
Nine films will be shown on the big screen, a rare opportunity for Hitchcock enthusiasts. The lineup includes “The 39 Steps” (1935), “The Lady Vanishes” (1938), “Rebecca” (1940), “Foreign Correspondent” (1940), “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (1941), “Spellbound” (1945), “Notorious” (1946), “The Wrong Man” (1956) and “North by Northwest” (1959).
The London-born Hitchcock (1899-1980) began in cinema as a lowly title designer for Paramount Pictures in 1920. After a few false starts, he made his first hit, “The Lodger,” when he was only 26. The talkie “Blackmail” (1929) cemented his fame.
He made the move to Hollywood in 1940, but had a tough time getting started, turned down by producer after producer. Finally, David O. Selznick, the producer of “Gone With the Wind,” offered Hitchcock a chance. The resulting film, “Rebecca,” won the Academy Award for best picture.
For the next 36 years, he continued to thrive in Hollywood, both on the silver screen ― with such frightening works as “Psycho” (1960), “The Birds” (1963) and “Vertigo” (1958). He also gained a huge following on television with “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (1955-65). Once night a week Hitchcock’s plump profile would greet viewers, followed by his introductory words , the eerily elongated “Good evening.” Though the TV shows were not directed by Hitchcock, they bore his creepy touch.
Yoo Maeng-cheol, the programmer at Seoul Cinematheque, says that he tried his best to get films from Hitchcock’s glory days, both in London and in Hollywood. If you are disappointed that your favorite Hitchcock film isn’t being shown at this fest, don’t worry; a follow-up retrospective on Hitchcock is coming in mid-May.
Hitchcock’s philosophy of filmmaking was simple: “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.”
by Chun Su-jin
Tickets cost 6,000 won ($4.80) each and are available online in advance at www.maxmovie.com beginning Tuesday (there’s a 400 won commission). You can also buy tickets at the theater. The Seoul Art Cinema is in the basement of the ArtSonje Center in Anguk-dong, near Insa-dong, central Seoul. Take line No. 3 to Anguk Station, then exit No. 1. Turn right and walk until you reach the main intersection with an old stone wall. Turn right again and follow the wall, passing Pungmoon Girls’ High School, until you reach the first intersection. ArtSonje Center is on the corner.
For more information, call (02) 3272-8707 or check out the Web site www.cinemathequeseoul.org.