When I was writing my third book and a character needed a place to hide-out for a few days, he found his way to an old-fashioned cabin motel, well off the beaten track, a motel that time had forgotten, run by a polite Indian gentleman named Beejit Bhait. When the character checked into the Bhait’s Motel, it was my way of tipping my hat to the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. In 2010, the American Film Institute released a list of the best movies, categorized by genre. Three of the top ten mysteries were Hitchcock movies, including at #1, Vertigo. In 2012, a survey of international film critics, for the first time that I can remember, bumped Citizen Kane from it’s perennial ranking as the finest movie ever made and replaced it at #1 with, that’s right, Vertigo. Now, I will acknowledge that Vertigo is a wonderful movie, but it is hard for me to put it at #1 on any film list since, in my house, I can’t even place it at #1 on the list of the best Hitchcock movies. My wife would award that distinction to Rear Window, and for myself, I would probably have to choose Psycho. But the truth is, you can make a case for any number of great Hitchcock films. Everything is creepier after watching a Hitchcock movie. Even a mid-day stroll through the harbor in Key West.
So I was especially pleased to read this morning about the Hitchcock 9, his earliest surviving films, made between 1925 – 1929, 9 silent movies, each one lovingly restored by the British Film Institute and coming to the Brooklyn Academy of Music June 29 – July 3.
(photo retrieved from BAM.)
It is my understanding that the Hitchcock 9 will tour the U.S. this summer, starting tomorrow at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, before coming to Brooklyn later this month.
I doubt I will be able to arrange to see 9 films in 5 days in Brooklyn. But I will definitely get to a few of them. I suggest you do the same.