In the films of Alfred Hitchcock, architecture plays an important role. Having worked as a set designer in the early 1920s, Hitchcock remained intensely concerned with the art direction of his films. In addition, the ’master of suspense’ made some remarkable single-set films, such as Rope and Rear Window, that explicitly deal with the way the confines of the set relate to those of the architecture on screen. Spaces of confinement also turn up in the ’Gothic plot’ of films in which the house is presented as an uncanny labyrinth and a trap. Furthermore, it became a Hitchcock hallmark to use famous monuments as the location for a climactic scene. Last but not least, Hitchcock used architectural motifs such as stairs and windows, which are closely connected to Hitchcockian narrative structures (suspense) or typical Hitchcock themes (voyeurism). Apart from dealing with these issues extensively, Steven Jacobs discusses at length a series of domestic buildings with the help of a number of reconstructed floor plans especially made for this publication.
Steven Jacobs is an art historian who has published widely on the photographic and cinematic representations of architecture, cities, and landscapes. He currently lectures on film history at Sint Lukas College of Art Brussels and the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, and on urban studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
344 pages, b&w ills / 16 x 24 cm / English