World Cinema & Auteurs : Alfred Hitchcock

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In the 1950s French film critics, most notably Francois Truffaut, proposed the auteur theory. It described the hallmarks of a film director in terms of personal aesthetic vision, recurring themes, recognized technique, thematic and stylistic consistencies, a distinct view of the world and considerable control over production.


During the development of auteur theory, Alfred Hitchcock was repeatedly cited as a perfect example of the concept. His own name suggests various connotations in terms of techniques and themes he explores. As he is known for his mastery of the mystery and suspense genre, his films often evoke the darker fears of audiences and deal with taboo areas which are quite often central to his work. For example, in his movie Strangers on a Train, the subject of underlying homosexuality is dealt with. In Psycho, the satire of an Oedipus complex is explored. In Marnie, the harrowing experiences of repressed memories if highlighted. In all these there is an underlying and perpetual component of black comedy and peculiar characterizations. His main influences were from German expressionists who had the ability to express ideas in visual terms. It is this visual expression of thought that Hitchcock accomplishes in all his films. Hitchock's first American film was Rebecca (1940) which explored uncertainties of a nave young bride in a English country home, who is forced to come to terms with an aloof husband, a greedy housekeeper and her husband's late wife's legacy.
Hitchcock displays his consummate expertise in his films with cinematic techniques such as using various camera viewpoints, intricate video and soundtrack editing to enhance suspense and fea ...
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