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Create Your Own Film Class With Series Devoted To Hitchcock, Giallo

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September 29, 2017 12:35 p.m.


Beth Accomando, KPBS Cinema Junkie Podcast Host

Related Story: Create Your Own Film Class With Series Devoted To Hitchcock, Giallo


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Just in time to start the Halloween season, tube film series beginning in's indigo celebrating Masters of the thriller. One pagers a series of films from the Alfred Hitchcock and the other, maybe more of an acquired taste, the alarming and some might say garish excesses of giallo thrillers. Joining me is Beth Okamoto who says Hitchcock and giallo may have more in common than you think. Welcome back.

Thank you.

Why do they have more in common than we think ?

What is great is that it allows people to see something they are familiar with and to parent up with something they may be unfamiliar with which are the Italian giallo films. Giallo is heavily influenced by Hitchcock and the fact that his stories deal with murders and based in literature. There is this interconnection between those that I think is nice. San Diego filmgoers will have a unique opportunity to set their own little film course in film history. What the series will allow you to do, you can watch a giallo and a Hitchcock film for four straight weeks. That will allow you a chance to see exactly the things that you will see in Hitchcock and pop up in giallo and how the Italians bowl out of control. Hitchcock is control. The Italians are over the top and design. They are wildly different and yet you see the same in both.

Let's start with Alfred Hitchcock. What does Hitchcock -- what does "Hitchcocktober" serve up ?

These are his best titles. It opens with "North by Northwest", which is a classic scenario but it includes "Vertigo". This was not wildly successful when it first came out in 1958 . It has recently dethroned Citizen Kane. It is at the top of the list. It is this gorgeous kind of perverse film in which Jimmy Stewart falls in love with a woman who commits suicide and then he tries to remake another woman in her image. Here is a scene where he has tried to turn Kim Novak into the woman he previously love.

You should be back. I told her that. I told you that.

We tried it. It just did not seem to suit me.

Please, Judy.

That part of "Vertigo", the transformation into the woman she originally was. The film is like a dream.

It is like a fever dream and the colors are so vivid and gorgeous. That is a thing, the sense of color. It is a rare film for Hitchcock. It is not like his others and that is what makes it special.

A different film is "Psycho" . What is significant about this film?

That marked a turning point in horror. One key thing is that Hitchcock shocked audiences. I do not realize people can see how shocking that was. He focused on a serial killer and he drew on real crime. He created a film that jolted audiences. One of the most memorable things is Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. He talks about his mother.

It is not as if she were a maniac, a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?

After all the films that have come after "Psycho", I find this film endearing .

It is so brilliant.

[ laughter ]

How did it influence giallo cinema.

We saw the first one come out in 1963 and you see the same focus on the grisly crimes, especially grizzly Millers and a focus on Siri or killers. They also draw on the sense of dread and engaging the audience in that kind of a story. These films also drew on elements from France like the sense of lurid violence and disturbing things and it drawls on Edgar Allen Poe.'s -- "Psycho" is the bridge and it leads us to contemporary films.

Tell us about giallo.

I work with film geek San Diego and I am a volunteer programmer. We could not resist the fact that there are four newly restored 4K digital prints of a number of these giallo films. We wanted to bring them in. It will kick off with what have you done -- "What Have You Done To Solange?". One thing you'll notice is the title are crazy. You have trendy wine. -- "Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key".
[ laughter ]

"Hitchcocktober" kicks off Tuesday. The giallo film series starts October 8 at the Digital Gym Cenema . I have been speaking with Beth Okamoto. Thank you so much.

Thank you.