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Arts and Culture

Hitchock Pitches 'Curve Balls' During Film Festival

Public Domain

Film director Alfred Hitchcock is thought of as "the master of suspense." Bill McBride argues Hitchcock's style is just as important. 

McBride is an associate professor of film and drama with Illinois State University’s English Department.  He's organized what he's calling a 6 week film school “Alfred Hitchcock – Master of Style.” Six of Hitchcock films will screen on consecutive Wednesdays at the Normal Theater beginning with "Shadow of Doubt" on Feb. 1. 

"My criterion is style, cinematic style," McBride said regarding how he chose the six films. "Not every one of his films dripping is dripping with cinematic style the ways these six are." 

Shadow of a Doubt is reportedly Alfred Hitchcock's favorite of his films. McBride said during Sound Ideas it's a sort of "love story to America." Hitchcock had recently become a U.S. citizen.  

He said the film and the character of Uncle Charlie is a good example of the "curve balls" Hitchcock throws the audience.

"His name is Uncle Charlie and us baseball fans know, that's a euphemism for a curve ball," said McBride. "He's a screwball, a curve ball. You cannot figure him out." 

McBride will talk a little before each film and lead a post film discussion. All films are at 7 PM on Wednesdays.

  • "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943).
  • "Notorious" (1946)
  • "Strangers on a Train" (1951)
  • "Vertigo" (1958)
  • "Psycho" (1960)
  • "The Birds" (1963)

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