How to Read a Film: Four lectures by Mark Schenker on classic films by Alfred Hitchcock

Mark Schenker discussing the historical context for the "Downton Abbey" series at a lecture in the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2014.

Mark Schenker discussing the historical context for the “Downton Abbey” series at a lecture in the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2014.

Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs in Yale College and frequent lecturer on film and literature topics at venues throughout Connecticut, presents four lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock on successive Sunday afternoons in January. The series starts on Sunday, Jan. 4, and concludes on Sunday, Jan. 25. Each lecture begins at 2 PM. The cost is $7 per lecture or $25 for the entire series.

Dean Schenker’s talks are both informative and fun, as attendees of his August lecture at Best Video on the historical context of the “Downton Abbey” TV series can attest.

Dean Schenker will discuss the four movies in chronological order of their release:

Sun., Jan. 4: “Notorious” (1946), with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in what is perhaps the director’s most fully realized love story.

Sun., Jan. 11: “Strangers on a Train” (1951), with Robert Walker as one of Hitchcock’s most impressive villains.

Sun., Jan. 18: “Rear Window” (1954), with James Stewart and Grace Kelly in a voyeuristic thriller.

Sun., Jan. 25: “North by Northwest” (1959), with Cary Grant as another of Hitchcock’s innocent men on the run in a movie that is a sophisticated blend of thriller, romance, and comedy.

The lectures will address aspects of the individual works, characteristics of Hitchcock’s art, and ways that participants can be better “readers” of film—more adept at what to look for and see in considering movies as work of art at no cost to their ability to entertain and enthrall us. Clips from each of the films will accompany the lectures.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HAPPY ENDING DUO (BEST VIDEO’S OWN HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN)

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, Jan. 8. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”