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My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock (2022)

3.5 of 5 from 46 ratings
2h 0min
Not released
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With his newest deep-dive movie about movies, prolific documentarian Mark Cousins switches up his approach by adding a heaping dollop of mischief. 'My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock', his love letter to one of cinema’s towering greats, flaunts a title that could be an impostor’s declaration on 'To Tell the Truth'. The opening credits announce that the film was “written and voiced by Alfred Hitchcock”. Say what? The first sound of that voice on the soundtrack, however familiar its adenoidal depths and Cockney slants, sparks reasonable doubt - suspicions confirmed when the maestro’s initial comments concern a huge bust of him in London, erected 20 years after his death.
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John Archer
Mark Cousins
Documentary, Special Interest
Hitchcock in the 1940s, A Brief History of Film...
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
120 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2

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Reviews (1) of My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock

Quirky but engaging and discerning study of Hitchcock's films - My Name Is Alfred Hitchcock review by PD

Spoiler Alert

Prolific documentarian Mark Cousins latest is a love letter to one of cinema’s towering greats. The opening credits announce that the film was “written and voiced by Alfred Hitchcock”, but the first sound of that voice on the soundtrack, however familiar its adenoidal depths and Cockney slants, immediately sparks doubt, and in fact the master of suspense is voiced by English impressionist Alistair McGowan. Once we’ve got past this ventriloquist conceit — that Hitchcock, addressing Cousins and us, is revisiting his body of work from the perspective of the smartphone-tethered 21st century — the film succeeds in engaging us with Cousins’ typically sharp connections as he delves into the visual language of Hitchcock’s creations, the many narrative motifs and inventive strategies as well some of their key themes.

As “Hitchcock” notes, his films have been analysed every which way and back, and Cousins’ fresh approach divides the work into six sections, an elegant capsule melding existential questions with the practical challenges and opportunities of big-screen storytelling. The first chapter, Escape, is the longest, and from there the film moves through Desire, Loneliness, Time and Fulfilment, culminating with Height (as in an elevated sense of perspective), and this proves a very good way of exploring Hitchcock's work. Biographical elements mainly serve as a complement to the stories they tell; he doesn’t second-guess or dismantle the films as much as zero in on what makes them tick. We are reminded that Hitchcock, unfairly generally dismissed as a mere entertainer, was wielding radical methods, the film particularly good as showing how he escaped the conventions of drama, replacing them with hyperrealities, not unlike his beloved Cezanne in his own field.

For the Hitchcock-curious, Cousins’ film easily could serve as an introduction to his work, but for fans it also casts a new light on scenes you may have seen many times - laying bare for example the ache in Norman Bates’ philosophical musings, or the charged space around Hitchcock's many lonely characters. It finds rhymes between the phone booth in The Birds and the shower in Psycho, and links the blinding orange afterglow of flashbulbs in Rear Window, on a soundstage facsimile of Greenwich Village, to A-bomb tests in the desert on the other side of the continent. No Hitchcock fan needs reminding that the best of his movies are endlessly, insistently watchable. And yet, viewed through the prism of this discerning film, it’s remarkable how affecting the images still are. Wielding the camera as voyeur, detective and tense-shuffling “time phantom,” Hitchcock unfailingly draws us in. Most enjoyable.

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