Photo courtesy of Centre national d'art et de culture
Georges Pompidou , Paris
PARIS, 6 July 2001 -
Paris is currently enjoying Hitchcock et l'art: coincidences
fatales, the exciting and innovative exhibition conceived and
shown in Montreal last year. The show, which establishes parallels
between Alfred Hitchcock's films and the visual arts, brings together
over two hundred paintings by Magritte,
Dali, and Klee, photographs of actual filming sessions and many film
extracts including fascinating home movies of the master himself
relaxing with his wife and daughter. His thrillers have virtually been
'hung' on the walls.
Swept into the Hitchcockian universe on
arrival, the visitor steps into a large hall plunged into obscurity.
Seemingly insignificant objects taken from his films, the initialled
cigarette lighter from 'Strangers on a Train', a pair of glinting
scissors from Dial M for Murder, Carlotta Valdes' jewels from
Vertigo, and Marnie's little yellow bag are theatrically
displayed on blood-red satin in glass cases, each highlighted by a
single sharp spotlight. The up-ended bread-knife from Blackmail
almost quivers as you thread your way through the unexpected lay-out
to music from "Psycho, The Man Who Knew Too Much,
and North by Northwest.
The exhibition spaces here
simply lend themselves to serving the very nature of Hitchcockian
cinema, and each area has a theme, preparing for, yet menacing the one
following. Suspense is guaranteed by the reconstruction of the whole
set of Psycho down to the shadow behind the shower curtain.
A coherent demonstration of
how Hitchcock was influenced by Victorian England is also given and
the visitor enters the study, and the darkened world of Edgar Allan
Poe, one of the master's favourite authors. Works by Beardsley,
Rackham, Redon and Martini abound. A brief extract from Rebecca
showing Manderley's neo-gothic castle is projected on a large screen,
while Edward Hopper's masterpiece, Lighthouse Hill, looms
Hopper: Lighthouse Hill 1927
Photo courtesy of Centre national
d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou, Paris
Yet another area is
dedicated to Hitchcock's women with their small perfect features,
blondness, and coldness, incarnated by Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedren, Eva
Marie Saint and Kim Novak, and their love scenes, filmed as though
they were murders, are projected on the walls.
James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo
Photo courtesy of
Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou, Paris
Emphasis has also been given
to Alfred Hitchcock's collaboration with Salvador Dali, culminating in
the film, Spellbound, and the show closes with the flutter of
wings, where The Birds, surely one of the most famous films in
the history of cinema, reigns. Perched on high, many of them, and
reflected in mirrors surrounding the unsuspecting visitor.
June - 24 September 2001
Centre national d'art et de culture
Open every day, 11h to 21h
Tel: (33) 1 44 78 12 33
Boccadoro is a senior editor at Culturekiosque.