Friday, August 22, 2008

A couple of Hitches

Donald Spoto, the author of Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and The Dark Side of Genius (among other biographies), mines the Hitchcock golden girls in Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies. This is Spoto's third crack at the legendary director, with the latest volume looking at Hitchcock's life and work through his relationships with the actresses in his films (Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren, et al). It's yet another dissection of his films, his fame, his legacy, his unconventional marriage and his obsessions. If they ever decide to put Spoto's Hitchcock trilogy in a box set, I hope the box is coffin shaped. Hitch would have liked that. Spellbound by Beauty (Harmony Books, $25.95) goes on sale Nov. 11.

Interestingly, Hitchcock: The First Three Minutes by Rembert Huser takes a look at Hitchcock's films through their opening title sequences. Huser discusses how a variety of visual and acoustic experimental techniques set the tone for Hitchcock's Hollywood classic films.What! No obsession with blonde hair or fear of policemen!? What's film study coming too? Published by European Humanities Research Centre at an import prices of $69, it arrives in select stores Nov. 30.

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