Hopkins/Yale University Scholar Marc Lapadula Explores “The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock”

Oct 20, 2015

10:10-11:30 a.m., Oct. 28, Administration Building, Room 120, CCBC Essex
2:30 – 3:45 p.m., Oct. 28, Math and Science Hall, Room 027, CCBC Catonsville

For many cinema scholars, film critics and movie lovers, Alfred Hitchcock is regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of his or any generation. His directorial career spanned six decades and more than fifty feature films. Hitchcock, the undisputed "Master of Suspense," crafted a slew of movies that kept audience members to the edge of their seats. Marc Lapadula, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, will discuss “The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock” Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 10:10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Administration Building, Room 120, at CCBC Essex, 7201 Rossville Blvd. and again from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m., in the Math and Science Hall, Room 027, at CCBC Catonsville, 800 S. Rolling Road. The lecture is free and open to the public. Clips from a range of Hitchcock’s films will be shown including “Shadow of a Doubt,” “Notorious,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Suspicion,” “The 39 Steps,” “Rear Window,” “Mr. And Mrs. Smith,” “Vertigo,” “Psycho,” “The Birds” and “The Trouble With Harry.”

According to Lapadula, “Hitchcock was a filmmaker who somehow pulled off the unlikely feat of producing highly personal films within a rigid studio system. He proved time and time again that his daring artistic ambitions superseded any facile motive to elicit audience gasps and screams via sudden jolts, hallucinatory shocks or shallow thrills. Deeply layered beneath the pristine surfaces of his captivating narratives lurked a tantalizing and multi-faceted examination of human frailty, political corruption, repressed psychosexual desire and wanton greed.”

Across his long career, Hitchcock fashioned a distinctive and recognizable directorial style. Pioneering the use of a camera made to move in a way that mimics a person's gaze, his films engage viewers in a form of voyeurism, coercing them into an uncomfortable complicity regarding the questionable moral actions of the characters depicted on screen. Hitchcock knew how to frame scenes and select unusual camera angles to provoke a heightened sense of anxiety, fear, or empathy. He was the innovator of groundbreaking, vertiginous editing techniques that were way ahead of their time. Through his clever cameo appearances in all his feature films, sardonic interviews, cryptic film trailers, and his popular television program "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Hitchcock became a cultural icon around the world.

Lecturer Marc Lapadula has more than 15 years of teaching experience at Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, the Columbia Film School, and Yale University, and he has led the Screenwriting Series at the Smithsonian Institution. His plays, including Dancer, Not by Name, Two Shakes, Last Order, The Rains Change, and In Uniform Thanksgiving, have been produced in New York (off-Broadway), England, Pennsylvania and Iowa. He has been commissioned for three screenplays: Distant Influence, Night Bloom, and an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog. He produced Angel Passing, starring Hume Cronyn and Teresa Wright, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the grand prize at WorldFest Houston. He is a consultant for film producers and New Line Films studio. Lapadula also is co-creator of the card games MVP Sportscards Baseball and MVP Sportscards Football. He has a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, studied Irish and English Drama at Exeter College and Oxford University and received his M.A. from Malcolm Bradbury’s Creative Writing Workshop at the University of East Anglia, and an MFA in playwriting from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

For additional information, contact Evan Balkan, coordinator of English, CCBC Catonsville at ebalkan@ccbcmd.edu or 443-840-4976.