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Pacze Moj

Excellent, as usual.

:)

I love when critics get down to the nitty-gritty detail of scenes and shots and sound and editing.

That 3x4 collage is neat, too. Did you make that in a photo-editing program, and then upload it as one image? Reminds of the way stills are often printed in a book.

I haven't seen Sabotage (only read about it in a Hitchcock biography, briefly), so I learned a lot. The boy-puppy-granny bomb sequence is something that seems more familiar than the rest, though: rightly famous, as you say.

But Hitchcock isn't unique among filmmakers in the 1930s in experimenting with these approaches.

But he was unique in actually beginning his filmmaking career in Germany, spending time watching and learning from the Expressionists in their native habitat. Take that, John Ford. Go Hitch!

PS: One last thing I'm curious about is a small detail at the end of IMDB's credit list for Sabotage. It mentions a "thanks" to Walt Disney for a cartoon sequence. I know Hitchcock worked with Salvador Dali later in his career, but had no idea he and Disney had a fling!

Thom

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback, Pacze Moj.

The nitty-gritty! I love it. Something about Hitchcock's film inspired me to experiment with a more formal analysis this week. I'm happy to read that it works for you because you do such a good job with similar approaches at your blog.

I'm also glad that you like to collage. Truth be told, I initially put it together in Photoshop for my own beneft. I wanted to break down what Hitch is doing in that opening sequence and a collage turned out to be a good way to accomplish that. I was so pleased with the result that I decided to add it to the post. :)

I noticed a special thanks to Walt Disney in the credits. Disney's Who Killed Cock Robin (1935) is screened at Verloc's cinema in one scene of the movie. I wonder if Disney also produced the animated clockwork mechanism that is superimposed on Stevie's explosive pacakage. It's fun to see Disney and Hitch collaborating at any level.

Squish

Nice indepth gaze, my friend. Here's a more up to date and cleaner link for the Hitchcock blog-A-thon Archives:

http://www.filmsquish.com/guts/?q=node/540

Thom

Hi Squish. The gathering of posts in the blog-a-thon is a valuable resource for any Hitch fan. I updated the link in the post, thanks.

P.S. I know you've seen this film so, can I ask which DVD version you watched and how did it look? The Laser Light version looks very worn with poor constrast. The film deserves a decent restoration so we can really enjoy the show.

Squish

Um... I do believe the version of Sabotage that I saw was lent to me by a friend. His roomate had a 45-film Hitchcock box set when he moved here... so all bootlegs (but all free :D ). Just do yourself a favour. If you have the opportunity to watch a colourized version of Suspicion... DON'T

Brian

Hitchcock was certainly a "gateway filmmaker" for me. Films like Vertigo, Rear Window and North By Northwest were among the few classic Hollywood live-action films to make a strong impression on me as a youngster, and when I started becoming interested in studying film more systematically, I was naturally drawn to his films, both rewatching those I'd seen before and seeking out videotapes from among the many I'd never seen.

This was the first of Hitchcock's British films I watched in that phase that really grabbed me, so I think of it as a favorite even though I haven't seen it in quite some time and only on video. Since then, I've also been greatly impressed by theatrical screenings of the Lady Vanishes, Downhill, and the silent version of Blackmail.

More recently, I've been reading a book called This Film is Dangerous, a collection of essays about nitrare film. One section of the book provides examples of fiction films in which the flammable properties of early film stock is used as part of the plot, and of course Sabotage is referenced.

Thom

Yes! The term is already catching on :) I remember a similar experience with Rear Window, Brian. It was one of the first flicks that encouraged me to look at how a film is put together. And after watching Sabotage this week I want to explore more films from the early part of the director's career.

I'm glad that you brought up the combustable nitrate film stock because it grabbed my attention in the movie. I'm fond of movies that weave some aspect of film or filmmaking into the narrative. Like the intervalometer Kieth Gordon sets up in De Palma's Dressed to Kill, for instance. Here Hitch teaches a weak-willed bus driver a lesson for bending the rules against letting dangerous nitrate on public transportation (because the film Stevie carries happens to be one of the driver's favorite b-movies). Of course Stevie is carrying something much more dangerous that nitrate, but no one knows that except Hitch, Verloc and us...great stuff.

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