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According to Heather Stewart, the Creative Director of The British Film Institute, modernist culture stocks in Alfred Hitchcock are high. Not only does she blame Hitchcock, for our collective uneasiness over taking late night showers – but she accuses Psycho of having been a game changer so great, that it transcended the medium of film – to rival the creations of Picasso and Le Coubusier. Heather Stewart wants Alfred Hitchcock on the national curriculum – meaning homework has the potential to become much scarier than ever before.

Hitchcock is not only the greatest British Film Director, he was born within a beach volley ball bounce of the Olympic stadium – which makes him the BFI’s contender for the number one spot, on the Olympian culture calendar. In terms of current exhibitions and cultural events elsewhere, the National gallery has Turner, The British Museum has Shakespeare  – and The British Film Institute is proud to have Alfred Hitchcock represent our nation, at this key time.

Starting from today, the BFI  will be unleashing all 58 Alfred Hitchcock films throughout the months of August and September – including his four newly restored silent films, with new to be revealed scores from the composers Mira Calix and Shlomo. Very special events include a talk from Tippi Hedren, as well as a visit from Camille Peglia, to discuss Women & Magic in Hitchcock. We’re especially looking forward to watching Salvador Dali’s Spellbound dream sequence, on the big screen.

As technology makes the world becomes a smaller place, and our privacy ever compromised, our voyeuristic quotidian is perfectly reflected right back us – via these incredibly timely film releases.

Ever the fashion muse, Tippi Hedren’s tortured role in The Birds, has inspired some of fashion’s most iconic collections. Alexander McQueen often channeled his love affair with all things ‘Hitchcockian’, to communicate the themes of anxiety, mystery and horror. No horror came more beautiful than his A/W 2009 collection, where wasp waisted Pollack splattered Tippi Hedrens – with bird cages balanced atop – were followed  by couture-level menacing feather creations – where models’ heads were literally boxed in! Fashion model Magdalena Frackowiak closed the show, confined and trapped by the psychological asylum of the film itself.

Alfred Hitchcock never won an Academy Award or BAFTA for Best Director. That’s a crime far greater than any committed in his films. This summer, go and see as many as you can – and  do your best to put right a wrong.


Genius of Hitchcock: All 58 surviving Hitchcock films will be on the big screen at BFI Southbank  from August 1st – October 19th.

Tippi Hendren, star of The Birds and Marnie, will be on stage August 16th.

Image Copyright: Courtesy of the BFI