Everybody has heard the name Hitchcock. Fewer have explored his work the way it deserves. There are those who’ve left their knowledge of the filmmaker at Psycho, and others who have spent their lives devouring his filmography, from his earliest works to his most obscured. The truth is, his name is untouchable – from those who know this to be true from experience, to those simply trusting the common consensus. Nonetheless, his status in cinema is what it is for good reason, and the BFI Southbank in London have set out to explore — in great detail — the true cinematic mastermind, the ‘master of suspense’ that is Alfred Hitchcock.
They call it the celebration of his films. Taking advantage of his rich body of work, alongside the mass of writing that has thus far been gathered in order to present his influence in the most thorough possible way, BFI have structured what they call their ’39 Steps’ – a unique, entertaining and educational way to delve into the filmmaker’s work, while entering and learning about aspects of his career, from the array of different themes that characterize his pictures, to the many motifs present to be marvelled at. Viewers are given the chance to sit through each step, spanning across a period of 5 months, from June to October of this year (roughly two months left), being exposed to Hitchcock’s genius in the most developed way possible – these films, gathered together for Hitchcock-fanatic pleasure, have been placed together not quite chronologically, but thematically, and in an attempt to make light of his development as an artist.
No matter what you most wish to gain out of the man’s heavy catalogue of work, you’ll find it in Southbank – his thrillers, his dramas, his dabbling in comedy, his crime movies and a lot more. It seems that, from the information given regarding the event, this is an opportunity for everybody – regardless the level of Hitchcock experience – to uncover a great deal about his life, from his early days growing up in London, his early filmmaking career, right through to his Hollywood days and his eventual death in 1980.