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Hitchcock’s oldest extant work, “The White Shadow,” discovered in New Zealand

Hitchcock’s oldest extant work, “The White Shadow,” discovered in New Zealand (photo)

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Alfred Hitchcock’s 1925 film “The Pleasure Garden” is generally recognized to be his first work as a credited director. But for years prior, the film legend worked as both art director and assistant director on a number of silent films. Now, one of those movies, “The White Shadow,” has been unearthed in New Zealand, and it is thought to be Hitchcock’s oldest surviving film.

A silent British melodrama starring Betty Compson, “The White Shadow,” known as “White Shadows” on this side of the Atlantic, told the story of two twins – one good and one evil, but both played by Compson. Hitchcock was only 24-years-old when he collaborated with Graham Cutts on the film, working as assistant director, art director, editor and writer.

“The White Shadow” we believed lost up until recently, when the first three reels of the original six were found sealed away in the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington, constituting the only known copy of the early Hitchcock film. The reels were part of a collection owned by Jack Murtagh, which was sent to the NZFA following the death of the collector and projectionist in 1989.

David Sterritt, chairman of the National Society of Film Critics and the author of “The Films of Alfred Hitchcock,” expressed his excitement over the discovery, stating that the reels “offer a priceless opportunity to study [Hitchcock’s] visual and narrative ideas when they were first taking shape.”

The original “White Shadow” reels will be maintained at Park Road Post Production in New Zealand, while an exhibition print is sent stateside to tie into plans for a “re-premiere” screening of the early film.

Are you excited about this lost Hitchcock film? What’s your favorite movie by the legendary director? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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