Alfred Hitchcock literally never ends. In what goes from practically the birth of cinema to his farewell in 1976, from his debut with number 13 in 1922 to his goodbye with The plot, the Leytonstone-born director has been, not necessarily correlatively, ignored as too popular and claimed as a visionary; accused of being a manipulative demagogue at the same time that he was pointed out as the most genuine of creators; despised for misogynist and lauded for being the first to genuinely understand the role of the woman to come.
Everything has been written about Hitchcock and, nevertheless, it is enough to approach the recently released documentary My name is Hitchcock to realize that everything is little, hardly anything. The filmmaker and historian Mark Cousinsresponsible for essential documentaries such as Women Make Film o The Story of Film: An Odyssey, offers a new look at the director to explore in six chapters (Escape, Desire, Solitude, Time, Completeness and Height) the exact limit of his eternity. As it is.
“Actually,” Cousins begins, “I was overwhelmed myself with the idea of saying something new about Hitchcock. My producer invited me to make a film commemorating the anniversary of his first film and I was blown. So, taking advantage of In the lockdown of the pandemic, I decided to rewatch the more than 50 films he made throughout his life to explore possible new connections between them. It was like coming home, returning to the author who did so much for my love of cinema. Once this was done, it was a matter of giving him the floor.” And so it is.
In the film, Hitchcock explains himself and, as hard as it is to take in, he speaks in the first person. In truth, it’s not exactly him. Actor Alistair McGowan is the one who lends his voice in a surprisingly identical register. “I approached it as a game. It’s as if we brought him back from the dead, but not with sacrilegious intent, quite the opposite. Nothing he says in the film was ever said by him, but it all makes sense. The audience understands it. he knows, but admits the trick”, he explains in his eagerness to show the guts of the mechanism that moves the film.
Cousins says that he was interested above all in offering the viewer his humanity, his charisma, his devotion to the human being. And just for that, the film enters into controversy with all the literature that paints him as a tyrannical, despotic director and even cruel to women. “I am aware that many feminist studies challenge their view of the world. And as a feminist myself, it took time for me to recover all these writings. I think of, for example, the pioneering texts of Laura Mulvey. Other feminists, on the other hand, They defend And this is when it is necessary to go to the data. Despite all that has been speculated, only Tippi Hedren accused him. Ingrid Bergman, Carole Lombard or Janet Leigh adored him. Yes, it is a subject that is passionate, but it is not right to repeat unsubstantiated rumors. Hitchcock was not a misogynistic monster”ditch for that to clear doubts.