SIFF ANNOUNCES WEEKLONG HITCHCOCK RETROSPECTIVE

7/11/2013 | SIFF Cinema
By: Jessica Marx | 206.315.0683 | jessica.marx@siff.net

"The Hitchcock 9" features the legendary director's 9 surviving silent films
"Hitchcock UK Masterpieces" showcases 8 rarely seen early works 

SEATTLE (July 11, 2013) - SIFF announced today that it will present a weeklong Alfred Hitchcock retrospective focusing on the suspense master's early work with Hitchcock UK Masterpieces and silent films with The Hitchcock 9.

 

The historic SIFF Cinema has been selected as the exclusive Seattle location for the monumental touring program, The Hitchcock 9 (July 26 - 28), which is a joint venture of the British Film Institute (BFI), Rialto Pictures/Studiocanal, and Park Circus/ITV. The restoration of The Hitchcock 9 is the largest restoration project ever undertaken by the BFI, which holds some of the most important and earliest surviving copies of the silent Hitchcock films. The project has gathered elements from around the world to painstakingly restore the legendary director's nine remaining silent films by repairing decades of damage, discovering lost footage, and reincorporating original intertitles and film tinting. The Hitchcock 9 premiered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (June 14 - 16), and will only screen in a few select cities this summer.

 

"SIFF Cinema Uptown originally opened as a silent movie house in 1926 making it the perfect location in Seattle to presented the luminous black and white restorations of the early works of filmmaking genius and provocateur Alfred Hitchcock," said SIFF Artistic and Co-Director Carl Spence. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these films on the big screen with a live-score as they were originally present."

 

To celebrate the Seattle premiere of these landmark restorations, SIFF has handpicked respected and celebrated Seattle-area musicians to accompany these the silent films with new original scores. A diverse collection of musicians, each is paired with a Hitchcock 9 film that best fits their unique styles. The cinema-inspired ensemble Diminished Men perform with our opening night film Blackmail,and other performers for the series include award winning cellist Lori Goldston,banjo and accordion duo Miles & Karina, harpist Leslie McMichael,violinist Julie Baldridge, and international music DJ James Whetzel.

 

SIFF Cinema continues to look at Alfred Hitchcock's early work with another series of classic films from the master of suspense: Hitchcock UK Masterpieces (July 29 - August 1). This program explores Hitchcock's rise in prominence as a director in the UK from his early talkies (including the sound version of Blackmail) through his departure for Hollywood in 1939.

 

 

The following is the complete lineup for the SIFF presentation of The Hitchcock 9:


THE HITCHCOCK 9
- FRIDAY, JULY 26 

The Hitchcock 9 is a joint venture of the BFI, Rialto Pictures/Studiocanal, and Park Circus/ITV.

 

Fri Jul 26 | 7:30pm

Blackmail

With original live score performed live by Diminished Men

Hitchcock's silent Blackmail is one of the best British films, if not the best, of the late 1920s, a masterly thriller that boasts great London locations. Czech film actress Anny Ondra stars as Alice White, a young woman whose brief flirtation with an artist turns suddenly and terribly sour. 

UK | 1929 | Cast: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Cyril Ritchard | 75 min

 

About the Restoration

Working with its new Arriscan digital scanner the BFI has been able to get the best from the original negative in a 4K scan. A combination of wet and dry scanning has maximized image resolution while minimizing the appearance of surface damage. A number of 'dissolves' have been completely remade using digital techniques.

 

A Rialto Pictures Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL | Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation | Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142, Pia Getty, Col & Karen Needham, and the Dr. Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation

 

 

THE HITCHCOCK 9 - SATURDAY, JULY 27   

 

Sat Jul 27 | 1:30pm

The Farmer's Wife

With original score performed live by violinist Julie Baldridge

In this charming comedy, a middle-aged widowed landowner enlists his faithful housekeeper to draw up a list of eligible women and sets off to woo each in turn - with disastrous results. Often very funny, the film still features the director's virtuoso flourishes, including the use of long takes and party scenes featuring meticulous choreography.

UK | 1928 | Cast: Jameson Thomas, Lilian Hall-Davis, Gordon Harker | 107 min

 

About the Restoration

After an international search, the earliest available sources for the film have been established as two preservation intermediates made from the camera negative in the 1960s. After careful selection, the best sections have been scanned from both to form the basis of the restoration.

 

A Rialto Pictures Release | Restoration by BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL | Principal restoration funding provided by Matt Spick, with additional funding provided by Deluxe 142

 

Sat Jul 27 | 4:15pm

The Pleasure Garden

With original score performed live by Miles & Karina

Hitchcock's first film as director demonstrates many of his obsessions from the first frame onwards: a cascade of chorus girls' legs tripping down a spiral staircase. A melodrama complete with apparitions, exotic locations and a sojourn in Italy, this is also the first of Hitchcock's many films about a woman marrying - to perilous effect - a man she doesn't really know.

UK | 1926 | Cast: Virginia Valli, Miles Mander, Carmelita Geraghty, John Stuart | 90 min

 

About the Restoration

Using five different sources, the BFI has been able to replace missing scenes (improving the flow and meaning of the narrative) as well as reapplying the original tinting scheme.

 

A Park Circus Films Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Park Circus Films | Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation, and by Matt Spick | Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142

 

Sat Jul 27 | 6:45pm

The Ring

With original score performed live by cellist Lori Goldston

A love triangle melodrama set in the world of boxing, this was Hitchcock's one and only original screenplay and one his finest silent films. When boxer Bob Corby hires Jack Sander to be his sparring partner, he has no idea that he will become smitten with Mabel, Jack's beautiful wife. The conflict between the two men gives rise to an inventive series of expressionist flourishes evoking the characters' states of mind. Exhilaratingly bold filmmaking.

UK | 1927 | Cast: Carl Brisson, Lilian Hall-Davis, Ian Hunter, Gordon Harker | 108 min

 

About the Restoration

The restoration process has worked hard to minimize the effects of shrinkage through a combination of careful grading and much manual restoration work. A French print, made of alternative takes so it couldn't be used as a source, was nevertheless used as a reference to confirm important stylistic features of the film's narration. New title cards were remade using a new hand-crafted font.

 

A Rialto Pictures Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL | Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation | Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142 and The Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation

 

Sat Jul 27 | 9:15pm

Downhill

With original score performed live by DJ James Whetzel

The darkest of Hitchcock's early films, Downhill follows the fall from grace of a schoolboy (Ivor Novello, reuniting with the director after The Lodger) who is expelled for getting a girl pregnant and subsequently disowned by his father. An early example not only of Hitchcock's interest in guilt and its transference, but also of his highly ambivalent attitude to family life, this is a deceptively rich and often elegant work.

UK | 1927 | Cast: Ivor Novello, Isabel Jeans, Ian Hunter, Robin Irvine | 105 min

 

About the Restoration

Film material held at the BFI National Archive had only previously been available in black and white. The BFI has restored the tints and tone and greatly improved the image quality, with access to a nitrate print held at the EYE Film Institute.

 

A Park Circus Films Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Park Circus Films | Principal restoration funding provided by Simon W. Hessel | Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142 and The Headley Trust

  

 

THE HITCHCOCK 9 - SUNDAY, JULY 28

 

Sun Jul 28 | 1:30pm

Champagne

With original live score performed live by harpist Leslie McMichael

Pre-film reception for Hitchcock passholders starting at 12:30pm

 

This romantic comedy-melodrama follows a millionaire who decides to teach his frivolous flapper daughter (played by the great Betty Balfour) a lesson by feigning bankruptcy. Built around Balfour's effervescent energy, this early example of Hitchcock's long-term fascination with the foibles of the filthy rich features some great experimental touches, including an opening shot filmed through a raised champagne glass.

UK | 1928 | Cast: Betty Balfour, Gordon Harker, Ferdinand von Alten | 105 min

 

About the Restoration

There is only one source for Champagne, an original negative from which all surviving prints have been made. It is thought that this was a '2nd Negative' made from alternative shots to the main negative as there are a number of editing idiosyncrasies. Nevertheless, some improvements have been made to continuity, dissolves have been re-made and full image repair and grading has been completed.

 

A Rialto Pictures Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL | Principal restoration funding provided by The Eric Anker-Petersen Charity | Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142

 

Sun Jul 28 | 4:15pm

The Manxman

With original score performed live by cellist Lori Goldston

Set in a remote fishing community, this is one of the most mature works of Hitchock's early career. The story follows two boyhood friends who take markedly different paths in adulthood, but both fall in love with the same woman. Anny Ondra gives a complex, sensual performance - clearly the reason Hitch cast her in his suspense masterpiece Blackmail later that year.

UK | 1929 | Cast: Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen, Anny Ondra | 100 min

 

About the Restoration

Careful attention has been paid to the film's delicate photography so that it can be reproduced on new film prints, in digital cinema presentations and on HD. Three source elements were used to reconstruct the film - the original camera negative, an acetate fine grain positive and a nitrate print from the twenties. Balancing these sources without disrupting the flow of the film has been a major concern in restoration.

 

A Rialto Pictures Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL | Principal restoration funding provided by Daniel and Joanna Friel and Ronald T. Shedlo | Additional funding provided by Deluxe 142

 

Sun Jul 28 | 6:45pm

Easy Virtue

With original score performed live by Miles & Karina

As adapted by Eliot Stannard, who scripted most of Hitchcock's silent films, Noel Coward's play becomes a study of the corrosive effects of being judged guilty by society, even if - as in the case of Laurita Filton, charged with infidelity by her drunkard husband - one is really innocent. Hitchcock's handling of flashbacks shows impressive narrative flair, as does his frequently imaginative play with point-of-view.

UK | 1927 | Cast: Isabel Jeans, Franklyn Dyall, Ian Hunter, Robin Irvine | 70 min

 

About the Restoration

The most problematic of all the Hitchcock restorations, Easy Virtue has only survived in a poor quality, abridged 16mm print. The BFI has selected the best source and inserted several shots from a second source where appropriate in order to improve quality.

 

A Park Circus Films Release | Restoration by BFI National Archive in association with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Park Circus Films | Restoration funding provided by The American Friends of the BFI, The John S. Cohen Foundation, Deluxe 142, The Idlewild Trust, and numerous film societies across the U.K. that donated to the Hitchcock 9 campaign.

 

Sun Jul 28 | 8:30pm

The Lodger

Pre-recorded orchestral score by Nitin Sawhney

Described by Hitchcock himself as "the first true Hitchcock movie", this masterful silent thriller stars matinee idol Ivor Novello as a mysterious new lodger who settles into a London house just as the fog-bound city is terrorized by a Jack the Ripper-style murderer. Screens with pre-recorded orchestral score by Nitin Sawhney, commissioned by BFI.

UK | 1926 | Cast: Ivor Novello, June, Marie Ault, Malcolm Keen | 90 min

 

About the Score

Commissioned by BFI, composer/conductor Nitin Sawhney's terrific orchestral score draws upon a wide range of influences - including 1920s jazz - to create a work that is contemporary and distinctive.

 

About the Restoration

Several hundred hours were spent on the removal and repair of dirt and damage. Digital imaging systems have enabled the film's original tinting and toning to be reproduced to far greater effect than was previously possible. Particular attention was paid to the nighttime sequences set in thick fog, which are toned blue and tinted amber.

 

A Park Circus Films Release | Restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Network Releasing, and Park Circus Films | Principal restoration funding provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation, and by Simon W. Hessel | Additional funding provided by British Board of Film Classification, Deluxe 124, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, and Ian and Beth Mill

 

 

THE HITCHCOCK 9 - ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

 

Diminished Men

An integral part of Seattle's unique and prolific underground music scene, Diminished Men draws elements of Link Wray, Morricone's dissonant horror scores, and Joe Meek's sickly productions, as well as the provocative imagery of gritty film noir and filmmakers like Wim Wenders and Jean-Pierre Melville, synthesizing them all into something truly organic and original.
*Diminished Men will perform a live, original score to accompany Blackmail.

 

Julie Baldridge

Violinist, songwriter and instrumentalist Julie Baldridge performs with several groups in the Seattle area including: Sugar Skulls, Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies, Finger, Bucharest Drinking Team, Erin McNamee, The Jamisons, and Monktail Creative Music Concern.

*Julie Balridge will perform a live, original score to accompany The Farmer's Wife.   

 

Miles & Karina

Dave Keenan and Nova Devonie have been performing together since 1991. As Miles & Karina they have recorded 3 albums of mostly original music and have composed a score to the silent classic The Adventures of Prince Achmed, which they perform live around the globe.

*Miles & Karinawill perform live, original scores to accompany The Pleasure Garden and Easy Virtue.

 

Lori Goldston

Cellist, composer, improviser, producer, writer and teacher Lori Goldston, winner of the 2013 Stranger Genius Award for music, has performed over forty silent film scores, toured with Nirvana and appeared with them in "Unplugged in New York", and has had work commissioned by and/or performed at prestigious institutions throughout the US and Europe.

*Lori Goldston will perform live, original scores to accompany The Ring and The Manxman.

 

James Whetzel

A classically trained sarod and tabla player, singer, beat maker, and producer, James Whetzel is also the beloved and innovative DJ for the Seattle Center's International Fountain, coordinator for Seattle Parks Busker program, and initiated the "on-hold" music program of the city of Seattle.

*DJ James Whetzel will perform a live, original score to accompany Downhill.

 

Leslie McMichael

Film geek and harpist-composer Leslie McMichael has toured throughout the country and played live with classic silent films including Peter Pan (in a score commissioned by Northwest Film Forum), Mary Pickford's A Little Princess, and the Baby Peggy feature Captain January (performed with a harp and toy instrument score). Except for teaching kids to play music at her Seattle Suzuki harp studio, Leslie says there's nothing more fun than playing her harp live with silent film.

*Leslie McMichaelwill perform a live, original score to accompany Champagne.

 

 

The following is the complete lineup for the SIFF presentation of Hitchcock UK Masterpieces:    

 

Mon Jul 29 | 7:00pm

Murder!

In one of the director's only whodunnits, an actress is found with amnesia next to the murdered body of a rival, but one juror is convinced of her innocence and sets out to find the real murderer. Of the film's numerous innovations, the most impressive is Hitchcock's invention of the internal monologue, created by making the actor react live to a recording of his own voice...as well as an orchestra hidden behind the set.

UK | 1930 | Cast: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Edward Chapman, Phyllis Konstam, Esme Percy | 104 min

 

Mon Jul 29 | 9:00pm

Number Seventeen

A gang of thieves gather at a safe house following a robbery, with Detective Gilbert hot on their trail, leading to an exciting, innovative chase sequence between a bus and a train. Hitchcock, not a fan of the stage play on which this film is based, made this film as a bit of a send up of the genre, and plays with quick cutting, expressionistic lighting, and a very prominent stairway.

UK | 1932 | Cast: John Stuart, Anne Grey, Leon M. Lion, Donald Calthrop, Barry Jones, Ann Casson | 64 min

 

Tue Jul 30 | 7:00pm

The 39 Steps

A Canadian visitor to London stumbles upon a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors. Filled with wry humor, sophisticated romance, and the disturbing elements of Hitchcock's dark silents, this classic wrong-man thriller anticipates the director's most famous works (especially North by Northwest), and remains one of his cleverest and most entertaining films.

UK | 1935 | Cast: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle | 86 min

 

Tue Jul 30 | 9:00pm

The Man Who Knew Too Much

An ordinary British couple vacationing in Switzerland suddenly find themselves embroiled in a case of international intrigue. This taught, politically tinged thriller reinvigorated the director's career, gave the brilliant Peter Lorre his first English- speaking role, and is the only film he chose to remake in Hollywood.

UK | 1934 | Cast: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre, Nova Pilbeam, Frank Vosper | 75 min

 

Wed Jul 31 | 7:00pm

Sabotage

Sylvia Sidney stars in this paranoia-tinged thriller as the wife of a London cinema operator with a terrible secret--he is part of a gang of foreign undercover saboteurs. Loosely adapted from a novel by Joseph Conrad, the film reflected the tensions of London on the brink of WW2, while also including some wry jabs at the movie industry. While Hitchcock famously regrets his decision on how to end the film (we won't spoil it here), it remains one of his most celebrated and manipulative suspense sequences.

UK | 1936 | Cast: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, John Loder | 76 min

 

Wed Jul 31 | 9:00pm

Young and Innocent

One of the director's personal favorites from his British period, this fugitive story follows an innocent man wrongly accused of strangling a famous actress, and the romance that blossoms between himself and the daughter of his pursuer. Filled with light humor and romance, Hitchcock still ends up wowing with one of his most famous moments: a travelling crane shot which travels the full length of a hotel ballroom and into the eyes of a wanted man.

UK | 1937 | Cast: Nova Pilbeam, Derrick De Marney, Edward Rigby | 83 min

 

Thu Aug 1 | 7:00pm

The Lady Vanishes

This quick-witted and devilish thriller, filled with high adventure and screwball comedy, brought Hitchcock to the attention of Hollywood. The beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster who then seems to disappear into thin air, and turns to Michael Redgrave to solve the mystery.

UK | 1938 | Cast: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty | 97 min

 

Thu Aug 1 | 9:00pm

Blackmail (sound version)

Originally produced as a silent picture, the producers gave Hitchcock the go-ahead to film a portion of the movie in sound. Instead, he surreptitiously filmed almost the entire feature in both silent and sound versions, using live music, sound effects, and an off-screen actress providing the voice of Czech star Anny Ondra (whose real accent was far from the character's Cockney roots).

UK | 1929 | Cast: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Cyril Ritchard | 84 min

   

 

 

About SIFF
Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival (May 16 - June 9, 2013) is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States reaching more than 150,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 250 features and 150 short films from over 70 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on four screens at the SIFF Film Center and the historic SIFF Cinema Uptown, reaching more than 100,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 11,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year. 

 

 

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