Film

Scare Tactics

Spend a Week with the Master of Suspense

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I KNOW A GUY who claims he doesn't like Alfred Hitchcock movies. That guy's a liar. Everyone likes Alfred Hitchcock movies. It's like pretending you don't like the Beatles. It doesn't make you seem smart to reject the good stuff just because everyone knows it's good.

Don't believe me? Cinema 21's Master of Suspense film festival boasts 10 Hitchcock films that provide unassailable evidence of Hitchcock's skills. Spanning from his 1935 breakthrough The 39 Steps to the twisted 1964 romance Marnie, there's a Hitchcock movie for just about every taste. North by Northwest is pure action, Psycho delivers the creep factor, and there's even a costume drama: Rebecca marked the director's move to the United States in 1940, and it represents a rare departure into gothic horror.

Those three movies, along with the visually daring Vertigo and near-perfect Rear Window, particularly demand to be seen on the big screen. As studios continue their drift into digital, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to catch classics like these on 35mm—in other words, you'll be seeing essential building blocks of cinema in the way they were originally presented. Don't even pretend that doesn't sound cool.

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