Hitchcock's New Zealand film
Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:52p.m.
By Laura Frykberg
Whether filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock is American or British is often fought over between the two nations, but the discovery of what's thought to be his earliest surviving work is something they can't contest, because it was here in New Zealand.
And now it, and all Hitchcock's other work, is being screened at the 2012 cultural Olympiads which coincides with the London Olympics.
There is only one known remaining copy of Hitchcock's earliest surviving silent film The White Shadow, a cinematic gem discovered and restored here in New Zealand.
“It was shown here commercially but never sent back to America or Britain, and it wasn't destroyed because in many cases projectionists and distribution companies were told once the film had reached the end of its commercial life they should simply throw it away,” says chief-executive of the New Zealand Film Archive, Frank Stark.
Projectionist Jack Murtagh held onto the nitrate film till his death in 1989 when it was given to the film archive to restore, and now it's being played along with all of the other 57 surviving Hitchcock films at the British Film Institute in London, during the 2012 Olympics.
“The government asked all of the big national institutions in Britain what they would like to do to celebrate and there’s really only one name that suggest itself in film, which is Hitchcock – he is our big national icon,” says Bryony Dixon of the British National Archive.
Restoring some of Hitchcock's earliest works is no easy task, every frame - that's 100,000 for each film - is checked, but restoring The White Shadow was all done in New Zealand.
“When you actually look at this film you acknowledge the fact it was made before Hitchcock was ‘Hitchcock’, but that he’s still ‘Hitchcock’ and that actually it contains a whole lot of flourishes and touches which became characteristics for his film making for years afterwards,” says Mr Stark.
Mr Stark says even though The White Shadow is silent, the suspense Hitchcock was known for still speaks volumes.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
It was the end of the road for Eden Roberts on The X Factor NZ last night after she was voted off in the first of the show's elimination episodes.
Eliminated X Factor NZ contestant Eden Roberts talks to 3 News about being voted off in the first of the show's elimination episodes.
Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox One, its next-generation entertainment console.
The first full trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins is out and confirms Deathstroke will be a fully playable character.
Members of the Blizzard team discuss why they are excited to release Diablo 3 on the PS4.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.