My Tribute To Hitch

Semalam aku ada training Macromedia Dreamweaver kat JNA, Jalan Ipoh. Bosan gila aku.. Bukan sebab apa, tapi course tu beginner level. Semua benda yang dia ajar tu mmg aku dah tahu.. Nasib baik ada internet line kat situ. Blog hopping la aku, thank you very much. Member sebelah aku siap bukak YM lagi. Kononnya kitaorang dah terror la.. hehe. Lagipun kitaorang pegi course tu pun sbb nak cukupkan syarat kursus. Biasalah ’hamba kerajaan’.. orang gomen la katakan. Balik dari kursus dalam kul 9 mlm camtu aku terus tido. Sedar-sedar it’s already 2am. Dah terjaga tu susah plak nak tido. Aku pun turun bawah bawah bukak Astro. And I manage to catch this very entertaining documentary called ”Hitch: Alfred The Autuer” kat Ch. 14.(..apsal citer best2 selalu kuar kul 3-4 pagi huh?). No, it’s not about the movie Hitch with Will Smith. Tapi pasal salah seorang pengarah filem terhebat dunia : Alfred Hitchcock. Here’s what I found out about him and what impact he has on not just the movie industry but the world itself..

  • Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in 13th August 1899.
  • Dia actually belajar buat filem dengan orang German. Dia pernah kerja sebagai Asst. Director kat UFA Studio kat Munich. Diaorang tu pengasas ‘German Expressionist Cinema', so teknik filming diaorang mmg radical at that time.
  • Filem pertama dia yang succesful is ‘The Lodger”, a silent movie he made in 1926. Terpegun aku tengok video clips yang dia tunjuk dari filem ni. Hitchcock time tu dah start buat satu filem yang multi shot. He shoots from top, from bottom, zoom, pan and this marvellous shot atas staircase ke bawah. And this is 1926! It’s a silent film!
  • Believe it or not, Alfred Hitchcock paling takut dengan polis! When he was 5 years old, his father -- to punish the boy for some infraction -- sent young Alfred down to the father's friend, the chief of police, with a note asking that the boy be put in a jail cell for five minutes to teach him a lesson. Gila ayah dia ni..! Five minutes can be an eternity. This was long before the days of identified child abuse, dan Hitchcock sendiri told the story only to explain his lifelong fear of the police.
  • Yang paling aku suka pasal dia punya Theory of Suspense. His maxim. He believes in superiority of suspense over shock. Aku rasa this theory reverberates into every aspect of picture-making and is today the single least heeded and most needed. Dia explain dalam documentary tu macam ni: "We come to our old analogy of the bomb. You and I sit here talking. We're having a very innocuous conversation about nothing. Boring. Doesn't mean a thing. Suddenly, boom! A bomb goes off and the audience is shocked -- for 15 seconds. Now you change it. Play the same scene, show that a bomb has been placed there, establish that it's going to go off at 1 P.M. -- it's now a quarter of one, ten of one -- show a clock on the wall, back to the same scene. Now our conversation becomes very vital, by its sheer nonsense. Look under the table! You fool! Now the audience is working for 10 minutes, instead of being surprised for 15 seconds." Aku rasa Hitchcock clearly has something to do dengan jeritan kita bila tengok citer suspense kat panggung wayang.
  • Satu lagi filming technique dia yang aku find interesting is that dalam filem ‘The Rope’ dia buat a ’10 minute take’ technique. Satu can film zaman tu boleh tahan selama 10 minit. So Hitchcock shoot every scene sampai la film habis. Tapi lepas tu dia kena sound dengan studio sbb teknik ni merugikan. But he still is the pioneer of this technique.
  • Hitchcock tak pernah preview filem dia dekat audience, something that is very rare in the USA. And he never saw his own movie with an audience.
  • Kalau siapa yang pernah tengok filem Alfred Hitchcock memang kita tahu yang dia suka buat cameo dalam film dia. His first cameo was in ‘The Lodger’. So that makes him the first director to do a cameo in his own movie. Aziz M. Osman pun selalu buat cameo dalam filem dia.. dapat inspiration from Hitchcock kot?
  • Alfred Hitchcock memang terkenal dengan genre horror, suspense, thriller, violence, dark, sinister. Tapi percaya tak dia pernah buat filem muzikal?? “Waltz From Vienna” (1936) was his first and only musical. Thank god..!
  • McGuffin. If you’re wondering what the hell is McGuffin (bunyi macam burger kat McDonalds je), let me ask you this. Pernah tengok Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction? Ingat tak suitcase yang si John Travolta and Ving Rhames bawak dalam filem tu? Ala.. suitcase yang bila bukak aja bercahaya tue. Ha! Tu la McGuffin. A McGuffin is something that the characters worry about but that the audience does not. It really doesn't matter. Benda tu sebenarnya takde apa2 kaitan pun dengan storyline filem tu. It looks like the most important thing in the movie tapi it is actually the least most important thing in the movie. Hitchcock believes that every suspense movie needs a McGuffin. Tarantino pun pernah mengaku dalam interview yang dia pakai teori McGuffin Hitchcock dalam Pulp Fiction.
  • Kalau kita tengok filem Hitchcock, dia punya ‘feel’ lain macam sikit kan? Ini sebab dia punya directing belief memang lain daripada pengarah Hollywood yang ada time tu. For example, almost all Hollywood directors arrange a scene as if it were theater. The actors move through the decor, they speak, and the camera films them in entirety (the master shot). Then, the director shoots various closer shots, and finally close-ups of the different actors. Each line of dialogue is thus "covered" up to 16 to 20 times, under a variety of angles. Later in the cutting room, the editor will spend three or four months assembling all this material while striving to give it rhythm, but without ultimately removing its theatrical side. This form of cinema-recording Hitchcock gelar "photographing talking heads," something yang dia tak pernah buat. From the very beginning of his career, Hitchcock understood that if you read a newspaper with your eyes and your head, you read a novel with your eyes and your heart pounding-- and that a film should be watched the way a novel is read. Hitchcock’s technique consists of focusing on the character through whose eyes things will be seen ( and felt by us, the public). This character will constantly be filmed from the front, and in close-up, so that we will identify ourselves with him. The camera will precede him in each of his movements while keeping his size constant within the image, and when he discovers something troubling, the camera will delay for a few seconds more (even too much more) on his face and look in order to heighten our curiosity. When he will be afraid, we will share his fear, and when he will be relieved, we will feel the same . . . but not before the end of the film. Aku rasa ini lagi satu teknik yang Hitchcock pioneered.

So apa point aku cerita pasal Alfred Hitchcock ni? Pengarah kat Malaysia ni tak bagus ke? Memang la salah satu reason dia sebab aku ni memang minat dokumentari pasal filem. Aku memang minat pasal the history of film-making, pasal great directors dengan cerita-cerita menarik dia, pasal sejarah. Tapi the main point is, Alfred Hitchcock ni buat filem ikut kepala dia. Dia tak pernah ikut cara orang lain mengarah. Dia tak pernah nak ikut citarasa audience dia.(ada jugak film dia yang tak laku..). Yang menarik pasal Hitchcock ni is that he project to the screen what he had exactly in his mind. Dia dah envision cerita yang dia nak mengarah tu dalam kepala dia. Walaupun at first orang tak paham apa yang dia buat, tapi bila orang tengok filem yang dia buat baru orang perasan yang he knows how to tell a good story. I believe that pengarah kat Malaysia sekarang pun patut jadikan prinsip Hitchcock ni sebagai contoh. Biar la apa pun orang nak cakap pasal filem kita, as long as we know in our mind that we have a great story to tell and we believe in that, just carry on. Sampai bila kita nak ikut apa yang orang lain nak? Why not gives the audience something that we WANT them to see.. Come on, tell us a story.

But then again, that’s just me. :)


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