“Four Decades of Hitchcock” lecture series concludes Sun., July 15, with “Psycho”

In this sixth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “Four Decades of Hitchcock.” The series began on Sunday, June 24, with “The 39 Steps.” The series concludes this Sun., July 15, with Hitchcock’s classic 1960 fright-fest “Psycho.”

Reservations are highly recommended.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

“Psycho”—a psychological thriller (and perhaps the first slasher movie) starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh—is a classic, listed on Roger Ebert’s Web site as one of the “Great Movies.” The American Film Institute ranked “Psycho” at the top of  its list of the 100 Most Thrilling American Films and at #14 on its 2007 list of the 100 Greatest American Films of All Time. But, as Ebert noted in his appreciation, “Hitchcock deliberately wanted ‘Psycho’ to look like a cheap exploitation film. He shot it not with his usual expensive feature crew (which had just finished ‘North by Northwest’) but with the crew he used for his television show… In its visceral feel, “Psycho” has more in common with noir quickies like ‘Detour’ than with elegant Hitchcock thrillers like ‘Rear Window’ or ‘Vertigo.'”

In his famous series of interview with French director Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock replied to Truffaut’s suggestion that “”psycho” was an “experimental film”:

Possibly. My main satisfaction is that the film had an effect on the audiences, and I consider that very important. I don’t care about the subject matter; I don’t care about the acting; but I do care about the pieces of film and the photography and the sound-track and all the technical ingredients that made the audiences scream . . . They were aroused by pure film.

Prof. Schenker’s lectures address aspects of the individual works, characteristics of Kubrick’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 accompany the lectures.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Tuesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30. WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S TEAM SIGN-UP

• Wednesday, July 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, July 12. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, July 13. BLUEGRASS: 5 IN THE CHAMBER

• Saturday, July 14. IMPROVISED MUSIC: GREX with special guest ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, July 15, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “PSYCHO” (1960)

• Monday, July 16, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, July 18, 5-7 PM. 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT MIX, MINGLE & SCREENING

• Thursday, July 19. FUNKY BLUESY ORIGINAL JAZZ: BAM JAM

• Friday, July 20. JAZZ: THE TONY PURRONE TRIO

• Tuesday, July 24. FILM SCORES OF NINA ROTA: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, July 26. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, July 27. FOLK: LOVERS LEAGUE; INDIE FOLK/POP: HYBIRD (RAVI KRISHNASWAMI)

• Wednesday, Aug. 1. AVANT-GARDE: EVAN MILLER, HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Friday, Aug. 3. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

• Sunday, Aug. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Aug. 6, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Thursday, Aug. 9. FOLK: STAN SULLIVAN

• Saturday, Aug. 11, 6 PM. COUCH YETI BOOKING PRESENTS NO BETTER, more TBA

• Wednesday, Aug. 15. ROOTS/ALT-COUNTRY: BLUE PONTIAC

• Thursday, Aug. 16. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN—”LETTERS FROM THE AFFAIR” WORLD PREMIERE

• Friday, Aug. 17. BLUEGRASS: PHIL ROSENTHAL & DAVE KIPHUTH

• Sunday, Aug. 19, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Aug. 20, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wed., Aug. 22. CONTRA DANCE MUSIC: WRY BRED

• Thursday, Aug. 23. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: JON SCHLESINGER, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Aug. 24. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wed., Aug. 29. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 30. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: MARK MIRANDO, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Sept. 2, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Sept. 5. POP PUNK: DAGWOOD

• Friday, Sept. 7. JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE, STEPHEN NYSTRUP

• Sunday, Sept. 16, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Sept. 17, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Saturday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Monday, Sept. 24, 7:30 PM. REMEMBERED IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A MEMORIAL READING FOR DONALD HALL & JANE KENYON​

• Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 PM. INDIE ROCK: PLANET WHAT (TULSA, OK), VIET RAHM (CHICAGO), DR. MARTINO, COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION

• Friday, Sept. 28. AFRO-FUNK FUSION: THE LOST TRIBE

• Saturday, Sept. 29. JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Oct. 1, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 PM. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON, SANDI KAHN SHELTON

• Tuesday, Oct. 9. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Friday, Oct. 12. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS, VAL McKEE

• Saturday, Oct. 13. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE—A LOVE SUPINE (with ADAM MATLOCK, BENJAMIN SMITH, ESDRAS LUBIN, JEFF CEDRONE, BOB GORRY)

• Sunday, Oct. 14. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: BRIAN JARAWA GRAY, LITLLE SILVER

• Wednesday. Oct. 17. ELM CITY NOISE FEST: performers TBA

• Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Nov. 2. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Prof. Mark Schenker returns for new lecture series starting Sun., July 9; “How to Read a Film” subject is films of Hitchcock by decade, 1930s-60s

Hitchcock on the set of “The 39 Steps” in 1935.

In this sixth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “Four Decades of Hitchcock.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 24. Admission to each lecture is $7.

Reservations are highly recommended.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Schedule:

Sun., June 24, 2 PM: “The 39 Steps” (1935)

Sun., July 1, 2 PM: “Shadow Of A Doubt” (1943)

Sun., July 8, 2 PM: “Vertigo” (1958)

Sun., July 15, 2 PM: “Psycho” (1960)

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, May. 24. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Friday, May 25. ACOUSTIC OLD-TIMEY/SWING: THE RED HOTS; AMERICANA: PAT STONE

• Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, May 30. FOLK ROCK: BEN MIKULA/THE LONE GNOME

• Thursday, May 31. JAZZ: MICHAEL COPPOLA & FAYE GREEN

• Friday, June 1. JAZZ: HAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMBO

• Sunday, June 3, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, June 6. AVANT-GARDE: ERNESTO CÁRCAMO CAVAZOS, MY OTHER GUITAR, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Thursday, June 7, 6:30 PM at Whitney Humanities Center at Yale. BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER presents “THE VILLAGE: LIFE IN NEW HAVEN’S LITTLE ITALY” at NH Docs

• Thursday, June 7. ROCK/JAZZ: STORMIN NORMAN with MAT KASTNER

• Friday, June 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, June 14. BLUEGRASS: THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Friday, June 15, 7:30 PM. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Sunday, June 17, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, June 18, 6:30 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, June 20. ROCK: THE OUTER SIDE, JOE DIVISION

• Thursday, June 21. JAZZ: VANCE PROVEY

• Friday, June 22. JAZZ: THE PAUL SHANLEY QUINTET

• Sunday, June 24, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “THE 39 STEPS” (1935)

• Wednesday, June 27. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS, DR. MARTINO

• Thursday, June 28, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: JACOB JOHNSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, June 29. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: PONY BIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

• Sunday, July 1, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “SHADOW OF A DOUBT” (1943)

• Monday, July 2, 7:30 PM. FIRST MONDAY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, July 3. CLASSICAL MUSIC/SOLO VIOLIN & ELECTRONICS: ERIK CARLSON

• Thursday, July 5. FILM SCREENING with LIVE SCORE: “THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC”

• Sunday, July 8, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “VERTIGO” (1958)

• Tuesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30. WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S TEAM SIGN-UP

• Thursday, July 12. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, THE SAWTELLES

• Saturday, July 14. IMPROVISED MUSIC: GREX with special guest ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, July 15, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “PSYCHO” (1960)

• Thursday, July 19. FUNKY BLUESY ORIGINAL JAZZ: BAM JAM

• Tuesday, July 24. FILM SCORES OF NINA ROTA: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, July 27. FOLK: LOVERS LEAGUE; INDIE FOLK/POP: RAVI KRISHNASWAMI

• Friday, Aug. 3. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

• Thursday, Aug. 16. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN—”LETTERS FROM THE AFFAIR” WORLD PREMIERE

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE, STEPHEN NYSTRUP

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Hank’s recommendations 03/12/13

hank_paperHITCHCOCK — Murder is so much fun in Hitchcock!

The only suspense in this thoroughly delightful, well-written and acted, film is how the aging Hitchcock, fresh off his success in NORTH BY NORTHWEST in 1959, seeks to prove he still has what it takes to be, well, Hitchcock. The vehicle he chooses to confirm his continued worth and, in fact, be fresh and current and different, is adapted from a then-current gruesome horror novel about the serial killer Ed Gein. The bestseller is called PSYCHO, displaying graphic subject matter that cause both his agent and longtime studio to avert their eyes from supporting it, forcing the Hitchcocks to mortgage their beloved Hollywood home in order to finance the film themselves. Talk about a scarily suspenseful adventure!

This movie has all the elements that make, not a perfect “Hitchcock film,” but a perfect film about Hitchcock and the making of Psycho: the advisory phantom of Ed Gein himself, backstabbing studio politics, Hitchcock’s eccentrically brilliant directorial craft, the famous shower scene, his trademark Hitchcock TV show, his infatuation with his blonde leading ladies, his less than earnest battle with corpulence, and, above all, his longstanding marriage to Alma Revel who was his confidante, advisor, editor and supporter in every film—right through Psycho—since their early days making British silent films together. The question of whether Hitchcock’s might finally acknowledge her irreplaceable role is another fine element of suspense.

The two actors—Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren—are expectantly excellent, especially Hopkins. One would think no one could convincingly portray the unique, inimitable Hitchcock, but you soon forget you’re watching anyone but the famous director himself.

All the dry wit and acerbic perceptions, the sense of fun and surprise you associate with Hitchcock are in this well-written movie.

The last three lines are the perfect capstone:

“You know, Alma, I will never be able to find a Hitchcock blonde as beautiful as you.”

“I’ve waited thirty years to hear you say that.”

“And that, my dear, is why they call me…the Master of Suspense.”

THE FLAT — A 98 year old grandmother dies in Tel Aviv. Her daughter, in her 70s, and her own older children and grandchildren go to clean out the apartment.

Among the old German furniture and bric-a-brac are discovered a huge and surprising cache of letters, photo albums and mementos harkening back to a pre-war Berlin where the grandmother and her traffic judge husband led a privileged life. Among the aging relics is a prominent Nazi newspaper from the late 30s whose banner headline announces the couple’s trip abroad to Palestine in the company of a high Nazi official.

The mother claims she never knew anything about that. Her parents never talked about their past life nor did she ever ask any questions. She herself lives only for the here and now. Her own apartment in Tel Aviv is neat as a pin: no clutter, everything in its place, not a thing that’s reminiscent of the past.

But the son evinces surprise and curiosity. The video he happens to be recording of the apartment cleaning becomes the movie we are watching as he decides to pursue that curiosity. What he discovers as he travels across Israel and to Germany to uncover his grandparents’ hitherto unrevealed life defies belief, leading to personal confrontations that will dispel complacency, reveal hard truths and alter lives on both continents.

This profound and haunting family mystery raises unfathomable questions and goes to places you couldn’t expect. It will have its intended effect if you don’t first read the spoilers on the back of the DVD cover.