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14 Feb 2006

Hitchcock Blonde

Filed under: Personal — paulcook @ 11:49 am

Ellen and I went to the US debut of “Hitchcock Blonde” on Friday. It’s an interesting play, set in a number of time periods: in the present, as a film professor and a student of his work on recovering a few frames from some recently discovered Hitchcock footage, and the professor seduces the student; and in 1919 as Hitchcock films a blonde actresses for a supposed new film featuring some (almost) nude scenes.

There were certainly a number of ideas and some crazy characters woven together. The overriding theme was how the two men (the play’s version of Hitchcock, and the professor) were both attracted to the women as images, but then found they didn’t want to be involved with them as real people. It’s also a thought experiment on where Hitchcock’s interest in persecuted blondes may have come from.

While not at all a comedy, there was some excellent dry humour, especially from Hitchcock’s character. I’ll try to reproduce one of my favourite lines (corrections welcome):

(the scene: the Hitchcock-era actress has killed her husband and dumped the body in Hitchcock’s house, only for them to discover that he is not, in fact, dead)
Actress: But I hit him on the head with an iron! He’s bleeding from his ear!
Hitchcock: A perforated eardrum.
Actress: And I taped his mouth and nose closed!
Hitchcock: He breathed through his ear.
Actress: You can breathe through your ears?!?
Hitchcock: If someone has had the foresight to perforate your eardrum.

I still don’t understand one scene, when an identical discussion between the actress and her husband takes place twice, but with interuption from a telephone at different times. Perhaps it’s exploring “what if” scenarios, but as a plot device it seemed a little … irrelevant.

Anyway, a great night out! Ellen was a sound technician at the playhouse, the South Coast Repertory. So it was quite a drive (to Orange County), but we got free front row tickets, and went to the opening-night cast party afterwards. A good change from physics!

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1 Comment »

  1. excellent recolection of the lines. That is my favorite scene as well. Even after the 10 millionth time watching it during tech and previews, I always perked up for this scene. HILLARIOUS! Love it!

    As for the 2nd kitchen scene. Ya, it was a bit vague. Even cast members were like “I dunno, but it’s in the script, so we do it”. There was talk of cutting one (not sure which, prob the 1st). The 2nd, if you noticed, it was real subtle, but it started with film going backwards, and the sound cue for the transition ended with playing in reverse, and the actors (should have) came on stage walking backwards. I think Terry’s (the playwrite) intention was “correction, this is what really happened”. The thought being if we showed what really happened the play would end too soon ;-) Also, it helped to show the arc of the Blonde charactors growth. In her 1st scene Hitch observes the bruise “it was my fault… I ran into the archetype thingy”. And she was hesitant to do the nude scene for PYSCHO. I think the idea was supposed to show how she could so easily go from shy not wanting to show nudity, to so relaxed to walk around nakie.

    Golly, hope that helped. It”s kinda long and babbly. Sorry about that. Tough to explain ‘art’ sometimes.

    Hmm, wondering if I could come up to your job and get a change from theater? PHYSICS IS PHUN!!! ;-) Glad you enjoyed our little show.

    (linked over from ELJ’s LJ)

    Comment by bc keller — 18 Feb 2006 @ 11:11 pm

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