What was Hitchcock's first color film

Comic

Alfred Hitchcock is famous for many things, including making a cameo in almost every one of his films. One might call it vain - and it was - especially since the designation “cameo” in this case with the framed jewel that is referred to, physiognomically presents a fat clunk, at least unmistakable. No trace of subtlety. And Hitchcock's credit for that, as we can see from the most famous book in film historiography, Francois Truffaut's conversation volume “Mr. Hitchcock, how did you do that? ”.

Now the first part of a two-volume comic biography about Alfred Hitchcock has been published (by Splitter Verlag), and his two French authors, the scenarioist Noel Simsolo and the draftsman Dominique Hé, have to live up to two legends: Hitchcock himself and Truffaut's book. That was of course an important source for the comic, because the two film directors went wonderfully into the technical details in conversation with each other and did not omit the personal influences of the British, who was born in 1899. Simsolo has tackled the competitive situation aggressively and embeds most of the prelude to the comic biography simply in a conversation: here between Hitchcock and his two main actors Grace Kelly and Cary Grant on the French sert of "Above the Roofs of Nice". They shot it in 1954, and in a lively chat with Grant with occasional assistance (and verbal seduction) by Kelly, Hitchcock tells them and us about his youth and career up to the big step: the move to Hollywood in the late thirties. The rest is film history - and reserved for the already announced second volume.

But the first part cannot do without the fame of the second half of the career. If we were to name the most famous thing associated with Hitchcock's name, it would be "Psycho," the film that gave its name to an entire genre by bringing a horror to the screen in 1960 that had never been seen before. With the success of this work, a new beginning also for Hitchcock himself, the comic biography begins, and something like a self-portrait of Alfred Hitchcock becomes visible in the murderous outsider played by Anthony Perkins in "Psycho": the manic arranger with disturbed social ones Relationships. However, the comic also demonstrates the symbiotic relationship with his wife Alma, his most important collaborator and creator of many elements of the specific Hitchcock touch (with Truffaut it hardly occurs; the big names in the Nouvelle Vague were entirely in line with the author's idea and with it fall into a kind of genius cult).

What does Alfred Hitchcock look like on comic pages? First of all like his own caricature, but that's how he staged himself again and again - he knew about the paradox of the little fat man, whose film art on the subject of crime fascinated people. Hé is a realistic draftsman without any originality, he is interested in recognizable features of his prominent figures and in striking mood decorations in the rather sparse backgrounds (the reading sample shows it: https://www.splitter-verlag.de/alfred-hitchcock-1 -mann-from-london.html). So basically, you could say, Hé works like a film set designer and cinematographer. The fact that the first volume is completely black and white fits the phase of work presented in it, and of all things “Psycho” was Hitchcock's return to black and white after the color films of the 1950s. “Above the roofs of Nice” was of course also shot in Technocolor, but the film itself does not appear in the first volume, only the shooting is the subject. In any case, I'm curious to see whether part 2 with “Cocktail für eine Leiche” (1948) will let color flow into it, as it happened from then on in Hitchcock's work.

At first I was tired of the story: too many familiar things, too many little bits, which are conveyed primarily through dialogue, not through images. Then why a comic? But over 150 pages, the factuality of the story unfolds a peculiar pull, you could almost say: Suspense, because as with this narrative principle coined by Hitchcock, we as viewers already know a lot more than those involved and wait for what we know to occur inevitably . In the case of this life it is the numerous masterpieces, and in the first part of “Alfred Hitchcock” we look for their harbingers. There is a lot to be found.

Simsolo has divided the biography into individual chapters, the transitions of which let you catch your breath while reading, before returning to the usual small-scale page architecture after an atmospheric scene in front of a completely white background. Larger panels rarely break the conventional four-row scheme, but when it does, it is dramatically cleverly set both in the context of the narrative and the individual page. This biography is an example of great professionalism with little spectacle - and that includes the exact translation by Tanja Krämling, who had to pay attention to all the German film titles etc. If you leaf through it quickly, the volume is not very convincing because it is so calm, but those who get involved with the reading will be rewarded. Also with numerous anecdotes that Hitchcock Truffaut kept secret. And last but not least, it contributes to the fact that Cary Grant was one of the disguised homosexuals of those bigoted Hollywood years, so that he and Hitchcock, as superstars of their profession, talk about outsiders. Have there ever been such conversations? Thinking about it is part of the appeal.

Keywords: Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Hitchcock, biography, Cary Grant, comic, Dominique Hé, Francois Truffaut, Grace Kelly, Kino, Noel Simsolo, Nouvelle Vague, Psycho, Splitter Verlag, Suspense, Tanja Krämling
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Suspense is never suspended

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You think you're in the conventional area, but then ... The first volume of a comic biography by Alfred Hitchcock works with the narrative means that the film director has made the basis of his work.

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