The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock

Course InstructorMr. James Snapko is an award-winning filmmaker and current English faculty member at the University of St. Thomas.  He has produced and directed two feature films (Sucker Lake Park, Further North) and several internationally recognized short films (Per Bianca, The Good Friend, Stella) that have screened at various prestigious film festivals such as Miami, Arizona, Minneapolis/St. Paul International, Cinequest and at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.  He received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and has also taught film studies at the University of Minnesota and at St. Catherine’s University.  He has been teaching film at St. Thomas since 2002.

Course Information:  Wednesdays, February 13-March 20, 2013, 10:00-11:30 a.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, UST St. Paul Campus (Note:  This lecture will be taught without a break)

Course Description:  This lecture series will focus on the body of work of one of the great filmmakers in the history of cinema – Alfred Hitchcock.  The purpose of this course is to analyze his most important films and shed light on his style, his influence, and the people with whom he worked closest.  This is an appreciation of his films and why we love them.

Registration fee for the series:  $80.00 per person

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To register by check or cash through the mail or in-person, click on this link for the registration formSpring 2013 Registration Form

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Detailed Course Syllabus (subject to change):

February 13

Hitchcock's formative era

Where did he come from and how did he get started?  In this introduction we will look at Hitchcock's work in the silent era up to WWII.  Notable films and clips:  The Lodger (1926), Blackmail (1929), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935), Rebecca (1940).

February 20

Hitchcock in the 1940s

Hitchcock begins making films in America and builds a reputation as one of the great studio filmmakers.  Notable films and clips:  Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Rope (1948).

February 27

Hitchcock in the 1950s

This was his most prolific and arguably his greatest decade of filmmaking.  Some of his most famous films were made during this era and we will look at what makes this period stand out.  Notable films and clips:  Strangers on a Train (1951), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Wrong Man (1956), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959).

March 6

Hitchcock's film in the 1960s and 70s

While his output diminished and the success of his films waned, these films are some of his most personal.  Notable films and clips:  Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Torn Curtain (1966), Frenzy (1972).

March 13

Hitchcock's great collaborators

We will look in detail at Hitchcock's talented most frequent collaborations in his career:  Composer Bernard Herrmann, Actors Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Screenwriter John Michael Hayes, Cinematographer Robert Burks, Editor George Tomasini.

March 20

Hitchcock's influence

We will discuss the mark Hitchcock made on cinema both during his career and in contemporary cinema by viewing works by filmmakers that have borrowed from Hitchcock's style.  Som enotable influences:  Brian De Palma, Joel & Ethan Coen, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, Michael Haneke.