One Day University Dallas: The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock – Interview with Dr. Marc Lapadula

One Day University

Saturday the Dallas Morning News and One Day University present The Nature of Genius at the Dallas Museum of Art.  From 9:00 to Noon three esteemed professors will discuss the genius nature of Michelangelo, Frank Sinatra and Alfred Hitchcock.  Conducting the lecture on Sir Alfred Hitchcock is our friend Dr. Marc Lapadula.  Click through for my interview with Marc about the filmmaking legend and all of his genius qualities.  Also there is a special discount code for tickets!


"The Master of Suspense" created nearly 50 films in a 6 decade long career and I think his breakdown of Mystery vs Suspense is just one of the many signs of his genius.

Dr. Marc Lapadula of Yale University will present an hour long look at Sir Alfred Hitchcock.  Here is the One Day U synopsis of the lecture:

For many cinema scholars, film critics and movie-lovers, Alfred Hitchcock is regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of his or any generation. Cultivating a directorial career that spanned six decades and over fifty feature films, Hitchcock was notoriously anointed the undisputed "Master of Suspense" early on with a slew of movies that glued audience members to the edges of their seats. A filmmaker who somehow pulled off the unlikely feat of producing highly personal films within a rigid studio system, Hitchcock proved time and time again that his daring artistic ambitions superseded any facile motive to elicit audience gasps and screams via sudden jolts, hallucinatory shocks or shallow thrills. Deeply layered beneath the pristine surfaces of his captivating narratives lurked a tantalizing and multi-faceted examination of human frailty, political corruption, repressed psychosexual desire and wanton greed.

Across his long career, Hitchcock fashioned a distinctive and recognizable directorial style. Pioneering the use of a camera made to move in a way that mimics a person's gaze, his films engage viewers in a form of voyeurism, coercing them into an uncomfortable complicity regarding the questionable moral actions of the characters depicted on screen. Hitchcock knew how to frame scenes and select unusual camera angles to provoke a heightened sense of anxiety, fear, or empathy. He was the innovator of groundbreaking, vertiginous editing techniques that were way ahead of their time. Through his clever cameo appearances in all his feature films, sardonic interviews, cryptic film trailers, and his popular television program "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Hitchcock became a cultural icon around the world. Film clips screened will include: Shadow Of A Doubt, Notorious, Strangers On A Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds.

Interview with Dr. Marc Lapadula – The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock:

Marc Lapadula

Marc started off the chat by explaining how he has a brand new disc of clips to showcase in the hour long lecture, The Genius of Hitchcock.

I brought up with only an hour of time it must have been tough to decide what films to highlight and Marc explained that his Godmother certainly wouldn't appreciate him leaving out one Hitchcock gem in particular.

Marc is looking to showcase not just the films but rather what it is that makes us love Hitchcock as viewers.

Dr. Lapadula talked about the importance of prep work in Hitchcock's filmmaking process.

The Oscars and the Directors Guild of America nominated but never awarded Alfred Hitchcock a best director award.  I asked Marc about this sad ironic note on the incredible career of of Hitchcock.

But don't worry, Alfred did have the last laugh!

Marc and I talked a lot about how one major sign of Hitchcock's greatness is we're still studying his work extensively, where other director's importance ebbs and flows overtime.  Marc explains why Hitchcock is timeless, even though he's of our time.  His genius will be studied like the history of Michelangelo or Shakespeare.

"Always make the audience suffer as much as possible."

Marc explained how Hitchcock's ability to nudge the audience into the darkest realms of our imagination was his greatest gift and why audiences so truly love him.

So why is Hitchcock timeless?  His movies haven't changed.  The viewers lives and experiences have been molded and changed over their full lives.  It's his ability to touch on the basic fears and struggles that touch us all, but it's our growth in life that continues to unravel his true brilliance.  Marc talks about how seeing Hitchcock at 16 is different compared to 36 or 66, but each viewing is still so gripping and compelling.

Marc does have a nice shout out to Dallas!

Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

One Day University's Nature of Genius is on August 8th from 9am to Noon.  You can find more information on the lectures and how to get tickets, here.  And for 10% off of your ticket(s) use the code SELIG

See you on Saturday.


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