Alfred Hitchcock season

Hitchcock – The Early Years

Depot is to screen a series of movies by Alfred Hitchcock over five upcoming events, commencing with three of his earliest films. Subsequent sessions will explore the exuberant 30s movies, his wartime films, the 50s heydays, and late Hitchcock.

Born in East London in 1899, Hitchcock made 53 films and became one of the world’s greatest film directors, famous for suspense thrillers and a unique ability to fuse a powerful artistic vision with commercial success. He was also a magnificent showman, performing cameos in all his films and appearing regularly on television.

We begin our retrospective with a screening of his first full length film, The Pleasure Garden (1925), which was shot on location in Europe and at studios in Munich. Rarely shown, the film displays many of the trademark techniques with which he has since been associated, showing an early mastery of image composition and lighting.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) was Hitchcock’s first suspense thriller. The well-known singer Ivor Novello played the lodger who is implicated in a series of Jack the Ripper style murders. Having studied films such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Hitchcock drew on German expressionist images and ideas but added his own directorial flourishes. The film was a major commercial success.

After a series of silent films, Hitchcock directed Blackmail (1929), which was made as a silent film but also released as the first European sound picture. Hugely popular on release it was the first of Hitchcock’s classic movies, culminating in a famous chase through the British Museum. This landmark film demonstrates Hitchcock’s mastery of the psychological thriller and features innovative use of sound as in the famous ‘knife’ sequence. It established Hitchcock as Britain’s foremost director.

The screening of The Lodger will feature a live accompaniment by the award winning composer and conductor Terry Davies, and Depot will screen the sound version of Blackmail.

Each film will be presented by Robert Senior of Lewes Community Screen.

Films in this season