David Thomson on the distinctive artistic vision of the Master of Suspense
David Thomson has written an article on Hitchcock's signature directorial style for The Guardian. The feature anticipates an upcoming showing of North by Northwest at the BFI in London, followed by other showings in selected cities from 19 June:
''There is no lesson in North By Northwest except for this: in the great and continuing crisis of life, try to behave with wit and style. The humour in North By Northwest is not just "silliness" and fanciful situations, one after another. It is an exhilarating escape from the earnest hopes for salvation in Ben-Hur and The Nun's Story. It is, to quote Henri Bergson, to know that "the comic demands something like a momentary anaesthesia of the heart. Its appeal is to the intelligence, pure and simple." Hitchcock believed in that intelligence, because it was cold and clear and because it reduced every decision in film-making to a question of style. In other words, nothing happened or really existed in a movie until his very sharp, idiosyncratic eye saw it - and style in his movies was how he chose to show something.'