The hanging figure : on suspense and the films of Alfred Hitchcock

Christopher D. Morris

In this interpretation of the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Morris argues that suspense - the fundamental component of Hitchcock's cinema - is best understood not through psychology or philosophy,because these disciplines are founded on unjustifiable assumptions. His deconstructive analysis begins with the very meaning of the word "suspense", which relates to dependence or hanging, and analyzes its portrayal first in painting and sculpture,and then in Hitchcock's body of work. In this iconographic tradition, hanging figures challenge the significance of human identity and rationality, and further imply that "closure", or an end to suspense, is all but illusory. This work represents a deconstructive approach to suspense, and a survey of the iconography of the hanging figure. Hitchcock's films provide ample opportunity for such discussion, with their constant use of the tool of suspense, and Morris argues that, essentially, all of human existence is in this very state, a state embodied particularly well by the films he discusses. Drawing on the work of Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man and J. Hillis Miller, this cross-disciplinary study establishes the advantage of a deconstructive and figurative approach to an often-studied directorial style.

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  • Theories of Suspense
  • Current Theories of Suspense
  • Hitchcock on Suspense
  • The Iconography of the Hanging Figure
  • The Hanging Figure in Non-Cinematic Visual Art
  • The Hanging Figure in Hitchcock's Films
  • Suspense in Hitchcock
  • "The Lodger" - Deferred Identity in the Crucified Figure
  • "Easy Virtue" - Framed Nothing
  • "The Ring" - The Circularity of Reading
  • "Spellbound" - The Suspense of Black Marks on White
  • "Notorious" - Thresholds in the Glamourously Dangerous Charade
  • "Rope" - Suspense as the Absent Referent
  • "Vertigo" - The Futile Search for Something Tenable
  • "North By Northwest - Groundless Figuration
  • "Psycho" - Empty Interiors
  • "The Birds" - Signs of a World Without Cause or Meaning
  • "Torn Curtain" - The Hanging Figure
  • Afterword - Figures of Suspense.

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書名 The hanging figure : on suspense and the films of Alfred Hitchcock
著作者等 Morris, Christopher D.
出版元 Praeger
刊行年月 2002
ページ数 xii, 314 p.
大きさ 25 cm
ISBN 0275971368
NCID BB03081972
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言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国