How to Read a Film: Mark Schenker lectures Sunday on Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”

Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs at Yale College and frequent lecturer on film and literature topics at venues throughout Connecticut, has been presenting lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock on successive Sunday afternoons in January. The series began on Sunday, Jan. 4, with a talk to a packed room about Hitchcock’s 1946 thriller “Notorious,” starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Attendance and enthusiasm were similarly high for the Jan. 11 lecture about “Strangers on a Train.” 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.

The series continues with the last two movies in chronological order of their release:

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 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.