3.45 – THE PLEASURE GARDEN and Transgression

The first in our final directorial mini-season of Season 3 is Alfred Hitchcock’s debut feature, the 1926 silent film THE PLEASURE GARDEN. After a couple of short reviews, we talk about why this film’s importance outweighs the extent to which it’s ‘a good watch’, representing transgression on-screen, and the way in which the film uses tropes of suspense and mystery without necessarily being a thriller.

Next Week
Our Hitchcock season continues with the 1948 classic ROPE, available on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=93Gpm6kLZLk.
This Month’s Media
THE NUN (2018): Corin Hardy, Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga
JESSICA JONES S2 (2018): Melissa Rosenberg, Kristen Ritter, Rachael Taylor
SUGAR RUSH (2018): Ariel Boles, Hunter March, Candace Nelson
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (2009): Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (2017): Patrick Hughes, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson
THIS IS GOING TO HURT (2017): Adam Kay
Recommendations
42ND STREET (1933): Lloyd Bacon, Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels
METROPOLIS (1927): Fritz Lang, Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm
Footnotes
(Firstly, we should just say that, in discussing transgression in cinema, we don’t mean to refer to the term coined by avant-garde film-maker Nick Zedd in the 1980s to refer to an underground New York film scene. If you’re desperately interested in this, knock yourself out: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Transgression. If not, ignore this.) On the matter of politically progressive cinema, this paper is good: raley.english.ucsb.edu/wp-content/Engl800/MHansen.pdf. For more on the Motion Picture Production Code (more popularly known, given that the president of the MP Association at the time was Will H. Hays, as ‘The Hays Code’), see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Production_Code. The detective story to which Sam refers, in which the solving of the mystery turns on the barking (or not) of a dog, is the Sherlock Holmes tale ‘The Adventure of Silver Blaze’ (1892): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_Silver_Blaze. Finally this week, the director and choreographer to whom Rob refers in the context of backstage musicals is the inimitable Busby Berkeley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busby_Berkeley.