Monday, September 17, 2012

fact: me + hitchcock

A fact, just realized and of little interest to anyone aside from me:

I have never seen a Hitchcock movie by myself. This is odd. I enjoy seeing movies by myself. I like to go and sit anonymously among retirees at early matinees. I like crushing myself beneath piles of blankets and playing something on the magical computer box far into the night.

I remember with whom I've watched all the Hitchcock movies that I've seen. This is odd. I have a terrible memory for this kind of thing.

Rope: Eric
Notorious: Eric
The Trouble With Harry: Mike
The Lady Vanishes: Jesse
Vertigo: Shan

Each of these occasions claims an unusual brightness in my head, an indelible commitment to the fluttering slivers of personal feeling that are now stuck to the edges of the films themselves. Movies, for me, usually exist apart from the circumstances of their viewing. Even the ones that seem like they should be attached, by nostalgia or repetition, to certain people and places and times drift, for the most part, in the bubble of their own universe. I would expect The Ten Commandments--a movie I've found inexplicably enjoyable since childhood, a movie that appears in my life once a year to invade my family's secularized version of a religious holiday as a sort of springtime counterpart to It's a Wonderful Life--to trail memories behind it like drooping swathes of Easter ribbons. Nope. It's just The Ten Commandments: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, a burning bush, the Red Sea, roaring up and parted. There's not a scrap of personal experience thrown in among all the desert and idols and plagues.

It seems something about Hitchcock movies nails the memory of their viewing to the memory of the movie itself and makes me feel disinclined to watch them alone.

the Castro (Vertigo, September 2012)

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