Must We Kill the Thing We Love?: Emersonian Perfectionism and the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (Film and Culture Series)

Must We Kill the Thing We Love?: Emersonian Perfectionism and the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (Film and Culture Series)

William Rothman


William Rothman argues that the driver of Hitchcock's paintings used to be his fight to reconcile the darkish imaginative and prescient of his favourite Oscar Wilde quote, "Each guy kills the object he loves," with the quintessentially American philosophy, articulated in Emerson's writings, that gave classical Hollywood video clips of the hot Deal period their notable blend of recognition and inventive seriousness.

A Hitchcock mystery can be a comedy of remarriage or a melodrama of an unknown lady, either Emersonian genres, with the exception of the murderous villain and godlike writer, Hitchcock, who pulls the villain's strings―and ours. simply because Hitchcock believed that the digital camera has a murderous point, the query "What if something justifies killing?," which each Hitchcock movie engages, was once for him a annoying query approximately his personal artwork. Tracing the trajectory of Hitchcock's profession, Rothman discerns a development within the movies' meditations on homicide and inventive production. This development culminates in Marnie (1964), Hitchcock's such a lot arguable movie, during which Hitchcock overcame his ambivalence and completely embraced the Emersonian worldview he had continually additionally resisted.

Reading key Emerson passages with the measure of recognition he accords to Hitchcock sequences, Rothman discovers superb affinities among Hitchcock's mind set cinematically and the philosophical mind set Emerson's essays exemplify. He unearths that the phrases during which Emerson thought of truth, approximately our "flux of moods," approximately what it truly is inside us that by no means adjustments, approximately freedom, approximately the USA, approximately analyzing, approximately writing, and approximately considering are remarkably pertinent to our event of movies and to considering and writing approximately them. He additionally displays at the implications of this discovery, not just for Hitchcock scholarship but in addition for movie feedback in general.

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