Thursday, November 25, 2004

Boredom (or Whatever) in SHADOW of a DOUBT, et al

Many of Alfred Hitchcock's films begin with the lead character, the reluctant or "anti" hero, in a state of boredom or ennui that is prelude to action and a quest.

I'm thinking of the rooftop chase in Vertigo which is really a prologue. Later, once the story proper gets going, Scottie admits to "Madeleine" that he's just wandering. And she invites him to with her so they can wander together. That scene is one of Hitch's most explicit portrayals of "restlessness" and "boredom". And it's a symptom of soul-sickness.

Also, I'm thinking of the Bible story of Job. Following the tragic loss of his children, wealth, and health, Job's three false comforters arrive. They sit with him in total silence for a full seven days.
After that, instigated by Satan, they launch their attack of words on him.

Thus, In Job, as in an Hitch movie, "idle hands are the Devil's playground".

Hitch once asserted that "reality is something that none of us can stand, at any time." Isn't it
ironic that, in Spellbound, Constance -- who clearly perceives JB's innocence -- is repeatedly told by her peers to "accept reality" and join them in assuming his guilt?!

Joel Gunz

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