Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics (2007) edited by David Baggett & William A. Drumin
The shower scene in Psycho; Cary Grant running for his life through a cornfield; “innocent” birds lined up on a fence waiting, watching — these seminal cinematic moments are as real to moviegoers as their own lives. But what makes them so? What deeper forces are at work in Hitchcock’s films that so captivate his fans? This collection of articles in the series that’s explored such pop-culture phenomena as Seinfeld and The Simpsons examines those forces with fresh eyes. These essays demonstrate a fascinating range of topics: Sabotage’s lessons about the morality of terrorism and counter-terrorism; Rope’s debatable Nietzschean underpinnings; Strangers on a Train’s definition of morality. Some of the essays look at more overarching questions, such as why Hitchcock relies so heavily on the Freudian unconscious. In all, the book features 18 philosophers paying a special homage to the legendary auteur in a way that’s accessible even to casual fans.