Video Essay: Hitchcock’s Cuts in ROPE

Continuing with my new series of resource links – from video essays, to cinematographer interviews, how-to tips and the like – today I want to take a look at a short video essay. In it, this clip succinctly explores just one of the myriad of cinematic techniques that were employed by the film maestro of thrill and suspense – the “eloquent, suspenseful, quirky, and eminently entertaining”1 Alfred Hitchcock.

In this, Hitchcock’s first colour film (and first use of James Stewart) – audiences the world over became somewhat convinced that the 1948 thriller was a single-take wonder. Now don’t get me wrong: these have been done since this film. But in Rope we find Hitchcock employing an especially creative use of framing to create and maintain an illusion of continuity (as in practice, reels only had either 10 minutes or 20 minutes to film on). By 2015 standards it may seem passé, but I would strongly suggest that any of the techniques employed by a technical master of cinema such as Hitchcock is worth considering in any age. Ergo, I hope you enjoy this video essay by Vashi Nedomansky.

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