Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hitchcock 9 is coming to Portland!

Alfred Hitchcock’s genius was manifest the moment he first took up the director’s bullhorn. Unfortunately, the calculus of time plus wear-and-tear has had its way with his ten earliest—and silent—films. One of them, The Mountain Eagle, even appears to be lost for good. Now, thanks to the British Film Institute’s painstaking digital restoration of the nine survivors, you can watch them in prints that are as fresh as my favorite coffee. Few living people have seen any silent films this pristine. To see nine in a row? A revelation.

Even better for me, the full collection, dubbed the Hitchcock 9, is coming to Portland. Each one features live musical accompaniment from some of the region's best talent and will be presented in a state-of-the-art theater. Fist pump!

Where:           Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue

When:             October 12-27

Admission:     $15, Silver Screen Club members $10. Series passes: $95, Silver Screen Club members $60

Purchase tickets online          

As I’ve mentioned before, the importance of the Hitchcock 9 can’t be overstated. Their appeal isn’t limited to geeky completists (like me) with an OCD-like craving to see all his filmsthey’re simply good flicks that’ll entertain and stimulate anyone with at least “one eye open.” They’re sexy, funny and stuffed with Hitchcock’s special brand of worldly-wise psychology and bravura cinematography. Biographer Patrick McGilligan wrote:
With The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger Hitchcock had arrived, full-blown, at the tender age of 26. He was touted as the boy wonder of British film…. A “Great White Hope,” in [Hitchcock blonde and star of The Lodger] June's words: a wunderkind who might grow up to bring maturity to British film and drag the entire industry out of “its superannuated swaddling clothes” and “into long trousers.”
Young Hitch was box office gold. And if I have anything to say about it, he’ll remain that way. Join me for this festival. I’ll be at the shows and hope to see you there too. And here’s a special teaser: I’m in discussions with the event organizers to throw an after-party so we can all meet up and geek out. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 12 – 8 p.m. 
Live musical accompaniment by 3 Leg Torso with special guest Mark Orton

Sunday, October 13 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 16 – 8 p.m.
Live musical accompaniment by Reed Wallsmith with Battle Hymns and Gardens
Friday, October 18 – 8 p.m. 
Live musical accompaniment by Tara Jane O’Neil

Sunday, October 20 – 7 p.m.
Live musical accompaniment by Gideon Freudmann

Wednesday, October 23 – 8 p.m.
Live musical accompaniment by The Bill Marsh Ensemble
Watch a clip 

Friday, October 25 – 8 p.m.
Live musical accompaniment by the 1939 Ensemble

Saturday, October 26 – 8 p.m.

Live musical accompaniment by Tres Gone

Sunday, October 27 – 7 p.m.
Live musical accompaniment by Joshua Pearl 

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Anonymous said...

I was quite disappointed when finding out that they have no plans for a Hitchcock 9 DVD set (nor blu-ray). I wrote to the BFI asking about this, and they told me that they had no plans to do so, because they had only secured the rights to theatrical release. It seems to me that someone made a huge blunder here, because they could have raised so much more money with a DVD available.

Joel Gunz said...

I wouldn't lose hope yet... I'm sure they'll come out on DVD in time. It may just test our patience. :)

Doug Noakes said...

I hope you're right Joel. There has to be a way that these can be added to DVD or Blu-Ray. I mean, look at what junk there is out there that is available. The silent Hitchcock films I have seen deserve to be available for purchase and someday in every decent-sized library in the world.

Nick Bruno said...

Yeah, it'll happen. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say we could expect something around holiday season 2014. There's no real economic sense in having the home video versions compete w/ the theatrical tour, thus the delay.

BFI will likely release them in the U.K. Look for Criterion or Kino (or some other like-minded art house label) to do it in the States.

And I'm hoping there will be multiple options on those home versions for the score, as the one written by Nitin Sawhney for THE LODGER has some truly terrible missteps (maybe you've heard about the lousy pop songs that crop up in two scenes?).

Joel Gunz said...

Yeah, I've heard the scores are pretty uneven!