by Anthony King
Congratulations to all for another successful Scary Movie Month! In total I watched 62 spooky features and shorts, and even though life seemed extra busy and SMM burnout reared its ugly head a couple times, I finished strong with a Hitchcock, a Fulci mini marathon, and a longtime watchlist mainstay. Between two box sets I own upwards of 30 Alfred Hitchcock films. One set includes many of his early silent films and the other includes most of his classics (Rebecca still eludes me, though). According to Letterboxd only three Hitchcocks could be considered horror films: Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963), both of which I've seen numerous times and love, and Frenzy (1972), a first-time watch for me this week. Whereas Hitchcock's six big films – Vertigo (1958), Rear Window (1954), North by Northwest (1959), Rope (1948), and the two aforementioned – are set in the States, Frenzy is British through and through. Jon Finch plays Richard Blaney, a recently unemployed ne'er-do-well jumping between two women. Concurrently London is being haunted by a Jack the Ripper-type killer who is strangling women with neckties. The women in Blaney's life are knocked off and he becomes the main suspect. While Hitchcock rarely has a bad-looking film, Frenzy might be one of his most beautiful. From spectacular crane shots to sweeping tracking shots through busy London streets, I was taken aback several times while watching. Frenzy drags in a few spots, is thrilling for the most part, and also surprisingly hysterical.Deep Water (2022), one of which I liked – it's always a pleasure to see the original inspiration for such things.
I'm still living in the gray because that's how I like it. Humans aren't perfect, and sometimes we do bad things. We need to reckon with those things, but through it all, we're still just human beings. Tár is, as they say, not for everyone. For one, there is a lot of inside baseball talk about orchestral music. At nearly three hours, it's about as slow burn as a movie can get. But Field's sure hand with direction and story is on full display here and it's breathtaking. I want to keep having these difficult conversations about art and artist because it's extremely important, and I hope I can find more people who will have those conversations with me, who are also living in the gray, or living in the black and white, and why, who are also struggling with reconciliation.