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FLM 40 — Alfred Hitchcock and the Psychology of Suspense: 1943–1963

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 22—Dec 1
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 24
Units: 2
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $435
Instructor(s): Elliot Lavine
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 24
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 22—Dec 1
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 24
2 Units
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Elliot Lavine
Please Note: No class on November 24
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
It seems there is no foreseeable end to the fascination with the "master of suspense," Alfred Hitchcock. The dramatic center of his own carefully crafted world, Alfred Hitchcock was among the first film directors to achieve the type of media fame usually reserved for movie stars and presidents—a notoriety and celebrity he continues to hold more than forty years after his death. But who exactly was this curious genius of darkly sophisticated cinematic entertainment? And why do his films still notoriously hold audiences spellbound?

In an attempt to answer that question, this course will present a comprehensive overview of the great director's films, spanning a twenty-year period that inarguably includes the most fruitful phase of his remarkable career. Our total immersion in cinematic history will include viewing the pulse-pounding World War II–era thrillers Lifeboat and Notorious, the slyly sinister Shadow of a Doubt (long alluded to as the director's personal favorite among his own films), the wildly florid pseudo-psychological Spellbound and Psycho, the sexually suggestive Strangers on a Train, the voyeuristically seductive Rear Window, his melancholy masterpiece Vertigo, the comic caper classic North by Northwest, and the curiously apocalyptic The Birds—a mind-bending array of psychological thrillers that have contributed to making the name “Alfred Hitchcock” synonymous with high-caliber motion picture suspense.

All films can be rented or streamed instantly through Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play Movies, or other online platforms.

Film Programmer and Filmmaker

Elliot Lavine has been creating and programming films since the late 1970s. He has taught film studies at Oregon State, and in 2010, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle for his revival of rare archival titles and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.