Author Archives: mugadonna

About mugadonna

I took piano lessons as a kid and managing to pass the Grade 8 Practical exam and Grade 2 Theory. These last 5 years I attended a Djembe drum circle, mostly for therapeutic purposes. Then I took singing lessons for fun and for the challenge. I enjoy blogging and video-making.

Course :: Alfred Hitchcock ~ Genius At Work

NOTE :: Originally a Barnes U Noble University online course I completed Dec. 2001, immediately after the 9-11 tragedy.

Visit today’s: Barnes & – B&N Book Clubs


Alfred Hitchcock was more than merely a crafty director of thrillers; the master of suspense was also a master of the nascent art form in which he worked, shaping it in ways that have not yet been surpassed. “Alfred Hitchcock: Genius at Work” will offer students insight into both the man and his approach to filmmaking. Using Donald Spoto’s The Art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty Years of His Motion Pictures as a primary text, this course will demonstrate how Hitchcock melded Victorian popular culture and Modern art into a film style that demonstrated all the power of the fledgling medium. The course will also examine the director’s life to give students a sense of how Hitchcock translated his history and view of the world into celluloid. Tracing his work and how it evolved over time, the course will spotlight such films as Blackmail (1929), Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), and The Birds (1965). By the end of the course, students will have a thorough understanding Alfred Hitchcock’s lasting impact and his reputation as the greatest director in the history of film. The course is the first in a “Genius at Work” series designed to profile extraordinary individuals from history through their livelihoods. The series will examine subjects’ occupational processes and philosophies to better understand how they found and practiced their calling.


  • Learn who Alfred Hitchcock was as his contemporaries and co-workers saw him
  • Understand the times in which Hitchcock lived, the ways he transformed his cinema and transcended historical limitations, and the ways his era shaped his vision
  • Learn about Hitchcock’s day-to-day working methods
  • Examine the film technique Hitchcock called “Pure Cinema”
  • Recognize the themes that run through Hitchcock’s career and define his vision
  • Look in-depth at some of Hitchcock’s earlier and later films to gain clear insight into his artistic growth
  • Understand how Hitchcock’s influence continues to shape the ways we view and make movies

Course Materials:

clip_image001The Art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty Years of His Motion Pictures
The monumental scope of Hitchcock’s work remains unsurpassed by any other movie director, past or present. Psycho, Rear Window, The Birds and Vertigo are only a few of his classics.d his superb analysis — still the Hitchcockian commentary after 15 years in print.

Additional Materials:

clip_image004Hitchcock’s Notebooks: An Authorized and Illustrated Look inside the Creative Mind of Alfred Hitchcock
With the complete cooperation of the Hitchcock estate and unprecedented access to the director’s notes, files, and archives, Dan Auiler takes you from the very beginnings of story creation to the master’s final touches during post-production. Actual production notes from Hitchcock’s masterpieces join detailed interviews with key production personnel, including writers, actors and actresses, and his personal assistant of more than thirty years.

clip_image006The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock
Spoto’s 1983 biography is being reproduced in honor of the famous director’s centennial. The book was well received at the time of its publication, even managing to snag an Edgar Award. For this anniversary edition, Spoto has added a new introduction. The text is buttressed with numerous photographs and a detailed filmography.

A master filmmaker’s classic about the master filmmaker, now revised and updated in paperback.

clip_image010Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological masterpiece Vertigo is one of the most dissected, discussed, and revered films of all time. Now, for the first time, the story of this remarkable film is revealed. Writing with the full cooperation of the director’s family, many crew members, and the film’s restoration team, film historian Dan Auiler offers an in-depth re-creation of the making of Hitchcock’s signature thriller.

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Posted by on January 10, 2008 in Uncategorized


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