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In a New Light: From Page to Screen followed by a screening of Rear Window

In a New Light is returning for a third season, starting in September 2019.This course consists of 6 lectures, each lecture being followed by a movie screening. In the lectures,we look at the techniques used by the great film-makers such as Hitchcock and Scorsese, we look at the effect of new technologies on cinematic style in The Art of Widescreen Cinema,we consider how cinema both reflects and influences the cultural and political status quo, with Russian Cinema of the 1950's, and the Cinema of Palestine,and we look at an icon of World Cinema, with a feature on Jeanne Moreau. Each lecture is followed by the screening of a movie which illustrates and enriches the lecture content.

This richly illustrated and interactive lecture explores Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) based on Cornell Woolrich’s short story “It had to be Murder” (1942). We will examine how Woolrich’s short story is translated for the screen and discuss some cinematic techniques used by Hitchcock to create moments of chilling suspense. We will talk about the challenges and opportunities that a screen adaptation offers and look at some other successful examples of films based on literary works.  

Cornell Woolrich was one of the most prolific mystery and crime fiction writers of his day. Between the 1920s and 1960s he produced 27 novels and countless short stories. Woolrich has been described by Frank Krutnik as “the prime exponent of the psychological suspense thriller”. He is also considered “a leading architect of film noir” (Duggan) who “put noir into noir” (Ousby). More film noir screenplays were adapted from his works than any other crime novelist; apart from Hitchcock’s Rear Window, other films based on his novels include François Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black (1968) with Jeanne Moreau, Robert Siodmak’s Phantom Lady (1944) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Martha (1974).

Directed by Alfred Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, Rear Window tells the story of a newspaper photographer with a broken leg who passes his time observing his neighbours through the window. This study of voyeurism and obsessive curiosity is often seen as a comment on the experience of cinema-going itself. 

“.....just possibly the second most entertaining picture (after The 39 Steps) ever made by Alfred Hitchcock” (Time) 

“Hitchcock combines technical and artistic skills in a manner that makes this an unusually good piece of murder mystery entertainment” (Variety)

Lecture: From Page to Screen (Malgorzata Bugaj) - 1.30pm
Film: Rear Window (Hitchcock) - 2.45pm

Year: 2019
The Maltings is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust Registered Charity No: 701194