Thursday, November 11, 2004

Unfilmed Hitchcock Scripts: How About it, Hollywood?

I'd love to see The Short Night or Kaleidoscope, two Alfred Hitchcock scripts that never made it out of the gate, finally brought to the screen, ala Van Sant's PSYCHO. There's got to be a way to produce them. It sounds like a slam-dunk money-maker, at least at the arthouse level.

What fascinates me about Van Sant's PSYCHO is that his shot-for-shot remake is the cinematic equivalent of the classical music scene, with its penchant for performing works by "established" composers note for note. Perhaps other directors will give similar treatments to POTEMKIN, METROPOLIS, or BIRTH OF A NATION.

I'm thinking also of Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz project that attempts to establish jazz as America's own classical music. Both Jazz and the Hollywood film industry are distinctly American art forms that flourished in the 20th century. Both Van Sant and Marsalis have taken a backward, that is to say, a historic look at their chosen art forms thereby enshrouding them in the amber of Important, Serious Art. I'm not criticizing their work. It's inevitable that it would be happening. But it seems to me that Van Sant's PSYCHO is the filmic equivalent of a symphony orchestra that performs, note-for-note, works by composers from the 18th and 19th centuries.

If a new Beethoven symphony were ever discovered, it would be worked into every program in every orchestra in the world. Well, H completed several scripts, complete with cameras instructions, etc. Isn't it about time someone brought them to life?

How about it, Hollywood?

Joel Gunz

Print this post

No comments: