Monday, September 10, 2007
The Art of Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (August 13, 1899 – April 29, 1980) was an iconic and highly influential British-born film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. He directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades, from the silent film era, through the invention of talkies, to the colour era. Hitchcock was among the most consistently successful and publicly recognizable world directors during his lifetime, and remains one of the best known and most popular of all time.
Famous for his expert and largely unrivalled control of pace and suspense, Hitchcock's films draw heavily on both fear and fantasy, and are known for their droll humour and witticisms. They often portray innocent people caught up in circumstances beyond their control or understanding.
Hitchcock was born and raised in Leytonstone, London, England. He began his directing career in the United Kingdom in 1922, but from 1939 he worked primarily in the United States and applied for U.S. citizenship in 1956. Hitchcock and his family lived in a mountaintop estate known as Cornwall Ranch or "Heart o' the Mountain" at the end of Canham Road, high above Scotts Valley, California, from 1940 to 1972. He died of renal failure in 1980.
Rebecca was the only one of his films to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, although four others were nominated. However, Hitchcock never won an Academy Award for Best Director. He was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in 1967, but never personally received an Academy Award of Merit.