Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Hitchcock/standup performance


I LOVED this film! I was actually unfamiliar with Hitchcock and his works, so I felt that seeing clips in class of some of his movies/series was extremely helpful to provide as background information. I feel like some aspects of the movie can only be appreciated if you know certain things about Hitchcock. For instance, when we were watching the episode of his show during class, at one point, I remember as the wife was walking towards the husband with the meat in her hand, the camera was getting creepily closer to his back. This theme was revisited in the movie at one point when Hitchcock was approaching his wife and the camera focuses in on the back of her neck. Additionally, one trend in general about the clips we watched was a sense of violence and gore, or at least violence to be expected based on suspicious behaviors of the characters, such as when the man in one clip is bringing a glass of milk to his wife. The way he walks and the way the milk seems to glow seem to foreshadow sinister happenings. This gives us an insight into Hitchcock’s mind about how he enjoys examining violent acts. This is revisited in the movie several times. One time is when he gets frustrated during a shot of the shower scene in Psycho, so he goes ahead himself with the fake knife and pretends to hack away at the girl in the shower. Another time is near the end of the movie, during the first premiere of his film. Hitchcock stands outside the theatre, and when the shower scene comes on, he seems to be sort of “conducting” the screams of the audience.

Another thing I found to be really fascinating about the movie was the way in which Hitchcock seems to be a dynamic and static character at the same time. His facial expression never changes, whether he is angry, sad, happy, etc. He has one resting expression which follows him wherever he goes and whatever he does, yet he does seem to be emotional at the same time, which makes him dynamic! You can easily tell, because many times, either his voice would change or his actions indicate his emotions. One example is when he collects sand he finds in his bathroom and replaces his wife’s pills with it. His actions show that he is mad and that he wants her to realize how angry he is by showing her the sand in her pill bottle.

I was really impressed by the casting as well. I didn’t know that the real Hitchcock is no longer alive, and the resemblance between the actor who portrays him and Hitchcock himself is uncanny! I actually googled him on my phone during the movie, to figure out if Hitchcock himself was in the film. That was when I discovered that Hitchcock had passed away.

Standup comedy:

I thought the standup acts were atrocious. First of all, I was disappointed by the cramped space. There was not a single seat to be found. Secondly, there was a really long delay before the show started. My main objection was that the comics were not funny at all, in my opinion. They delivered very crude and cliche jokes that were not articulated well and not organized. Honestly, I thought the humor was too simple in some cases, or lacking completely with other jokes. I did not stay for the whole show, so I cannot speak for every performer. However, the first three performers, whom I did watch, seemed to have a very limited scope in terms of the jokes they told. They all had some sort of sexual reference, which can be very funny when articulated and presented well. I was discussing the comedy acts with Steve after we left and we began to discuss the influence of alcohol on the performers and on the audience. The lounge had a bar that was giving away free beers. This would explain the massive crowd. Additionally, because of all of the alcohol, we inferred that the comics would feel a lot less pressure to entertain the audience, most of which was throwing back beers every few minutes. The audience, which was clearly under the influence, would thus be very easily impressed.

1 comment

1 Muhammad Junaid { 12.21.12 at 8:05 pm }

Yeah I think that having some knowledge about Hitchcock definitely helped me enjoy the movie more. Also great catch with the parallels between the two works. Creating maximum anxiety in a scene is definitely a halmark of Hitchcock.

Leave a Comment