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Hitchcock’s architecture

OCT/2014

In this book Steven Jacobs analyses 26 of the set designs through which the famous film director Alfred Hitchcock succeeded in generating suspense in his films. Based on a 2007 exhibition of the same name, “The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock” showcases through reconstructed plans and the analysis of experts how architecture plays a crucial role in his films, from his earliest works such as Rebecca to his greatest box-office hits such as Vertigo and The Birds.


Because of his beginnings as a set designer in the 1920s, Hitchcock always gave a great deal of importance to the sets in which his films took place, which included from Victorian mansions to modernist villas and luxurious penthouses to suburban houses, environments which the director transformed into anxious and disturbing spaces through the emphatic use of architectural elements such as windows or stairs, which transformed the houses into mazes and traps, as in Rebecca, Suspicion or Shadow of a Doubt.


The book’s author treats Hitchcock like a full-blown architect, asserting that “the history of architecture includes not only the history of built edifices and unrealised projects designed by prominent architects but also the evocations and representations of architecture in the arts and in popular culture, which is why the historian should also deal with the imaginary architecture of films”.


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