Illustrations for "Hitch Puts a Bird on It: Paul Klee’s Influence on the Master of Suspense"

Each of these images corresponds to a figure cited in my chapter in Critical Insights: Alfred Hitchcock, edited by Doug Cunningham. To get the full story, buy the book!

Figure 1. Hitch, perfectly at home with Paul Klee's Strange Hunt

Masks in Twilight, Klee, 1938. Unfortunately, Hitch’s first Klee acquisition proved impossible to track down. However, assuming the painting Hitch bought in 1938 was a recent creation, it could have resembled this piece.

Figure 2. Strange Hunt, Paul Klee, 1937.

Figure 6. Odyssey, Klee, 1924. Collection of the Hitchcock family; black and white scan from Fatal Coincidences: Hitchcock and Art.

Screen capture from I Confess, Alfred Hitchcock, 1953. Watch the full title sequence: following Hitch's cameo at :39, be sure to notice the interplay of the horizontal street signs and the upward-pointing architecture.

Screen capture from North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock, 1959. Watch the full title sequence

Mural from the Temple of Longing, Paul Klee, (1922).

Eros, Paul Klee, 1923

Screen capture from The Lodger, Alfred Hitchcock, 1927. The rhythmic triangles in the title cards link the character Daisy (played by “June”) to the murders and the love triangle she’s caught in. The shapes loom larger in each successive appearance, echoing the impending danger she’s in.

Twittering Machine, Paul Klee, 1922. Turn the handle slowly and you might hear Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ show theme "Funeral March of the Marionettes". Crank it fast and you’ll hear Bernard Herrmann’s furious soundtrack to The Birds.

Screen captures from The Trouble with Harry, Alfred Hitchcock, 1954. Watch the full title sequence.

Birds Swooping Down and Arrows, Paul Klee (1919).

A Young Lady’s Adventure, Paul Klee, 1921


Laster said…
Loved the title sequence of The Trouble with Harry-- hadn't occurred to me about the Paul Klee influence!