Monday, December 3, 2012

Hitchcock's Blondes

Here's MoDo, at NYT, "Spellbound by Blondes, Hot and Icy":

Certainly, the master of the dark side had “a murderous fascination with blondes,” as the British Film Institute once noted in a tribute.

And now comes Hollywood’s murderous fascination with Hitchcock’s murderous fascination.

HBO’s “The Girl” depicts the making of “The Birds” and “Marnie,” with Toby Jones playing Hitch and Sienna Miller playing Tippi Hedren, fighting off rapacious birds and rapacious director at the same time.

In theaters, “Hitchcock,” with Anthony Hopkins as the auteur and Helen Mirren as his wife and collaborator, Alma Reville, depicts the making of “Psycho,” with Scarlett Johansson taking Janet Leigh’s place in the shower to be stabbed by that crazed mama’s boy Norman Bates. (The long-suffering Alma at one point erupts at her husband about his glittering fixation, snapping that she is “not one of the contract blondes you badger and torment with your oh-so specific direction.”)

Next spring, A&E will run “Bates Motel,” a prequel series to “Psycho,” featuring a young, creepy Norman, with Vera Farmiga as his (blond) mother.

Why the fresh fascination with the man with the famous profile? Perhaps the more Hollywood churns out rancid movies, the more it appreciates Hitch, who never got an Oscar. (“They take sadistic pleasure in denying me that one little moment,” Hopkins’s Hitchcock says.)

When he was asked about plot construction, the martini-dry director would echo the advice of the 19th-century playwright Victorien Sardou: “Torture the women!” And the Brit would slyly observe: “Blondes make the best victims.”
Well, it's a nice start at the essay, but collapses after that in some post-modern cultural psycho-babble that's not very well related to Alfred Hitchcock. Keep reading at that top link if you're not bothered by Ms. Dowd.

What the heck? A good chance to post the video trailer. The movie looks good, in any case.