11. The Genius of Hitchcock

Anny Ondra in 1929's 'Blackmail' (Photo: British Film Institute)

We know the classics – Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North By Northwest, Psycho, The Birds. But few have experienced Alfred Hitchcock‘s silent films, which span the early part of the director’s career in London. The British Film Institute set out on a mission: they would digitally restore Hitchcock’s nine surviving silents and roll them out for their London 2012 Festival. Relying on donations from BFI members, fans, celebrities like Martin Scorsese, and various partners, they’ve accomplished their goal.

Now Hitchcock aficionados will experience the artist as a young man through his early and most British works: The Pleasure Garden (1926), The Lodger (1926), The Ring (1927), Downhill (1927), Easy Virtue (1927), The Farmer’s Wife (1928), Champagne (1928), The Manxman (1929), and Blackmail (1929). Beginning July 6, several of the premiere screenings will be accompanied by live performances of original scores from artists including Nitin Sawhney and jazz/hip hop artist Soweto Kinch.

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.