Alfred Hitchcock
By: Jason Grote | Categories: HiLo Heroes, Movies

hitchcock

ALFRED HITCHCOCK (1899-1980) was schooled in the genre conventions of the English Murder Mystery and the Hollywood Thriller, and his primary goal was always to entertain. A legendary control freak, he invented some of cinema’s most spectacular innovations: the landmark-as-backdrop of Saboteur and North By Northwest, the famous dolly shot in Vertigo, or the dizzying overhead perspectives of Psycho and Dial M For Murder. But for my money, his most notable contributions have been to high culture and modern philosophy. Hitch has enchanted thinkers as wide-ranging as François Truffaut and Slavoj Žižek; the poet Anne Carson has compared him to Euripides. One could scarcely imagine Baudrillard’s Simulacrum without Hitchcock’s painstakingly recreated street scenes. And what is Lacan’s petit objet a if not the ultimate MacGuffin?

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: | Lucy Stone | Philippe Petit |

READ MORE about members of the Modernist Generation (1884–93).

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Jason Grote is a playwright, television writer, and librettist. His best-known play is 1001, a deconstruction of the tales of the Arabian Nights. He wrote for season one of Smash, and is currently a writer for Mad Men.