October 29, 2022

Talk Story

Architecture of Suspense

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Uncover the backstory of Alfred Hitchcock's most iconic characters: a Villainous Modernist House, a Maternal Victorian Mansion, and a Naughty Roadside Motel on this tour of his buildings in film. Film director Alfred Hitchcock leveraged our collective memory and the language of building and monumental design as constructed expressions of human emotions, including love, envy and the killer instinct. Through creative production design, cinematography and storytelling, he highlighted the personalities of buildings as effectively as any architect. For Hitchcock, the parts of a building represent humanity and all its complications: windows are the eyes into the soul, a stairway is a spine between the heart and mind, the basement is a place to hide secrets and a door permits entry into infinite subliminal perceptions. Architectural settings and the backstory for Hitchcock's midcentury movies, including Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest and The Birds will be featured, along with an insider's peek at real-life notorious Modernist "villain's lairs" in Los Angeles and Palm Spring designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and John Lautner as seen in LA Confidential, Diamonds are Forever, The Big Lebowski and other films.

Christine Madrid French is a historian, screenwriter and author of the upcoming book Alfred Hitchcock's Architectural Infatuations: Villain's Lairs, Skyscrapers, Mansions, and Motels (University of Virginia Press, 2022). Her unproduced screenplay Piney Croft, a paranormal horror feature, was a semi-finalist at the Orlando Film Festival and selected by iHorror Film Festival, and the Northeast Film Festival Horror Fest. She currently works as Director of Development with the California Preservation Foundation and has a history of saving big buildings. You can find her work on Instagram @madamhistorian and @pineycroftframe and on Twitter @madridfrench


October 29, 2022