Title: Hitchcock at the IFI

Hitchcock at the IFI

Last summer, the British Film Institute in London hosted a season of films entitled ‘The Genius of Hitchcock’, the most complete retrospective of the acclaimed director’s work ever staged.
All fifty-two of Hitchcock’s existing films (1927’s ‘The Mountain Eagle’ is sadly non-existent in any form) were screened, many from 35mm film prints taken from the BFI’s vaults. As well as ‘The Mountain Eagle’, the director made nine other films during the twenties and thanks to the ‘Save the Hitchcock 9’ campaign, they were all fully restored in time for the retrospective.

‘The Genius of Hitchcock’ was a roaring success for the BFI and now our own equivalent, Temple Bar’s Irish Film Institute, is following suit. Running through the end of March, the IFI are likewise screening all fifty-two of Hitch’s surviving films. The BFI have loaned their film prints to their Dublin counterpart, meaning many of the films will be projected the way they were originally intended, on 35mm film.

Hitchcock is a rarity, a film-maker equally appreciated by the film scholar and the casual movie fan. Such is his command of the language of cinema that simply watching one of his films is akin to attending a lecture on film-making. Scholars from many fields have found hidden subtexts in his work, leading to more literature being written on Hitchcock than any other film-maker. Most importantly though, his movies are great entertainment, ranging from light-hearted fare like ‘Young and Innocent’ to darker works like ‘Shadow of a Doubt’.

No film-maker has been more influential and there’s little in modern cinema that doesn’t have its roots in his work. Most of his films feel as fresh now as upon their original release. This is thanks in no small part to his visual storytelling, moving his stories along through images rather than dialogue. Nothing dates a film more than language and this is why his films have stood the test of time so well. Very few of his films have memorable lines but most will leave images ingrained in your mind for long after you’ve seen them.

The Irish Film Institute is located at 6 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. 01 6793477

By: Eric Hillis