Twenty-five years ago today, Alfred Hitchcock died (renal failure, if you’re wondering). From what we’ve seen, coverage-wise, this means more to the British than to Americans. But the Toronto Star (which, we realize, is not American, but is at least located on the same continent) has a smart salute to the jowly director, breaking down some of his rather matter-of-fact filmmaking credos. Like this one:
Fake It: One of Hitchcock’s more notorious directions to motivation-seeking actors â€” "Fake it" â€” might well stand as a defining credo of the Hitchcock universe. For the director, both the art and the effect of film was its artificiality, which he revelled in. Authenticity mattered only to the emotional impact of a film. The truth of a movie resided solely in how successfully it manipulated your responses.
On that note, Criterion has just released their end-all DVD version of "F For Fake," the last completed project of another fat, dead film legend (yes, there is a spot cleared for us already in hell), Orson Welles. The Hollywood Reporter looks at the oddity that is the movie, a half-doc that predicted the current trend of blending fiction and fact on film by almost three decades. Also see the notes there on the extras included in the two disc-set. Criterion’s Jonathan Rosenbaum also offers a robust essay on the film, starting with his meeting Welles in Paris for lunch in the summer of 1972, where Welles was working on a film he was calling "Hoax": "’A documentary?’ ‘No, not a documentary â€” a new kind of film,’ he replied, though he didnâ€™t elaborate." And, if you will indulge us for a moment, "F For Fake" is also playing on IFC Sunday, May 15, should you not be prepared to shell out for the Criterion DVD.