Nine rare Hitchcock silent films onscreen this month

Nine rare Hitchcock films onscreen this month

Wed, Oct 2, 2013

“If you want to see—and hear—The Hitchcock 9, you'll have to do it in a theater.”—NPR

Throughout the month of October, the Wexner Center for the Arts will present nine rarely seen films from the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Made from 1925 to 1929, Hitchcock’s first ten films—nine of which survive—are among the greatest achievements of British silent cinema and can also be seen as blueprints for the rest of Hitch’s body of work, containing many of the motifs and obsessions we have come to recognize as “Hitchcockian,” including The Lodger (1926), which the director named his first “true Hitchcock picture.”
The British Film Institute’s restoration of The Hitchcock 9 is the largest restoration project the BFI has ever undertaken and was made possible with the help of new digital technology. Now, for the first time, these films are traveling to venues around the world, including the Wexner Center. “Though the nine surviving Hitchcock silent films have long been accessible in variously compromised forms (a 10th silent feature, The Mountain Eagle from 1926, is missing and presumed lost), they are being shown here in versions as definitive as modern technology and curatorial know-how can make them,” says the New York Times.
Says Film/Video Director David Filipi, “Hitchcock’s genius was recognized by audiences early in his career, but until recently, these oldest works of his had only been accessible in a form that was often incomplete and badly damaged. This tour represents a major effort by the BFI to provide the audiences of today with these films as Hitchcock originally envisioned them. They include elements of what would become his signature style—later evidenced in classics like Vertigo or Psycho—as well as a glimpse into his early work in different genres, such as romance, comedy, and sports.”
The screenings in the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, 1871 N. High St., kick off with Blackmail on Thursday, October 10. Most screenings include live musical accompaniment by one of three Columbus musicians: Derek DiCenzo, Sue Harshe, or Larry Marotta. Tickets are $8 for the general public; $6 for members, students, and senior citizens.

THE HITCHCOCK 9 SCHEDULE

Film Studies Lecture
Tania Modleski: Representations of Women in Hitchcock’s Blackmail

Thu, Oct 10 | 4 PM
Free  
Tania Modleski, Florence R. Scott Professor of English at the University of Southern California and author of The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory (1988), offers her thoughts on one of films in The Hitchcock 9. Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Film Studies Program.

Blackmail (1929)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo
Thu, Oct 10 | 7 PM
Sat, Oct 12 | 7 PM
Made in 1929 during the transition to the sound era, Blackmail is one of the best British films, if not the best, of the late 1920s. The story follows a young woman whose flirtation with a young artist suddenly takes a terribly wrong turn. The great London locations include the British Museum and Lyons Tea House at Piccadilly Circus. (75 mins., 35mm)

The Lodger (1926)
Fri, Oct 11 | 7 PM
Sat, Oct 12 | 4 PM
Described by Hitch himself as “the first true Hitchcock movie,” this masterful thriller is set in a fog-bound London terrorized by a Jack-the-Ripper-style murderer known only as The Avenger. With Ivor Novello. (90 mins., DCP)

Downhill (1927)
Tue, Oct 15 | 7 PM
One of Hitchcock’s darkest early films, Downhill chronicles the fall from grace of a schoolboy who is expelled for getting a girl pregnant and subsequently disowned by his father. (105 mins., DCP)

The Ring (1927)
Live musical accompaniment by Larry Marotta
Thu, Oct 17 | 7 PM
Featuring Hitchcock’s one and only original screenplay, The Ring is set in the world of boxing. At the heart of the story is a love triangle involving a boxer, his wife, and his new sparring partner. (108 mins., DCP)

The Manxman (1929)
Live musical accompaniment by Larry Marotta
Thu, Oct 17 | 9:10 PM
Set in a remote Isle of Man fishing community, The Manxman follows two boyhood friends who take quite different paths in life. One becomes a fisherman, the other a lawyer. Yet both fall in love with the same woman. (100 mins., DCP)

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)
Live musical accompaniment by Sue Harshe
Wed, Oct 23 | 7 PM
The charming comedy The Farmer’s Wife focuses on a widowed landowner. With the help of his housekeeper, he draws up a list of all of the eligible women in the neighborhood and begins to woo each in turn—with disastrous results. (107 mins., DCP)

Champagne (1928)
Live musical accompaniment by Sue Harshe
Wed, Oct 23 | 9:10 PM
The romantic comedy Champagne revolves around a millionaire’s decision to teach his frivolous “flapper” daughter a lesson by feigning bankruptcy. (105 mins., DCP)

The Pleasure Garden (1926)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo
Fri, Oct 25 | 7 PM
The Pleasure Garden, Hitchcock’s first film as a director, depicts the messy love lives of two chorus girls. Their romances take them out of the music hall to exotic locations, including a trip to Italy. (90 mins., 35mm)

Easy Virtue (1927)
Live musical accompaniment by Derek DiCenzo
Fri, Oct 25 | 8:45 PM
Adapted from a Noel Coward play, Easy Virtue portrays a woman falsely accused of infidelity by her drunkard husband. The story reveals the corrosive effects of being judged guilty by society. (70 mins., 35mm)

Low-resolution press image selection

These images are provided exclusively to the press and may only be used for promotional purposes directly related to the corresponding Wexner Center for the Arts events. All reproductions must be accompanied by the proper credit line and copyright information provided below. For other images or more information, please contact Erik Pepple at epepple@wexarts.org or (614) 292-9840, or Jennifer Wray at jwray@wexarts.org or (614) 247-6241.

1.
Blackmail

Blackmail

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

2.
The Lodger

The Lodger

Image courtesy of the British Film Institute

3.
Downhill

Downhill

Image courtesy of British Film Institute

4.
The Ring

The Ring

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

5.
The Farmer's Wife

The Farmer's Wife

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

6.
The Manxman

The Manxman

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

7.
Champagne

Champagne

Image courtesy of Rialto Pictures

8.
The Pleasure Garden

The Pleasure Garden

Image courtesy of British Film Institute

9.
Easy Virtue

Easy Virtue

Image courtesy of British Film Institute

Jean Dubuffet, Vaches au pre (Cows in a meadow), 1954

Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection closes Dec 31. Don't miss the exhibition artnet named among the world's 25 "must-see shows."

Artists featured in Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection

Learn more about the artists represented in Transfigurations at our dedicated website. (Educators will also find curriculum resources to support their K–12 classrooms.)