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Cinemas: Revue d'Études Cinematographiques (2013) - La télévision selon Alfred Hitchcock. Une esthétique de l'émergence


  • article: La télévision selon Alfred Hitchcock. Une esthétique de l'émergence
  • author(s): Gilles Delavaud
  • journal: Cinemas: Revue d'Études Cinematographiques (01/Apr/2013)
  • issue: volume 23, issue 2/3, page 69
  • journal ISSN: 1181-6945
  • keywords: Aesthetics, Motion picture directors & producers, Television programs



Alfred Hitchcock appeared at the beginning and at the end of each episode of his television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962-1965). These interventions enabled him to take the stage, to play a role, to embody a quasi-character who was neither Hitchcock the producer nor Hitchcock the director. They gave him the opportunity to speak about matters which were rarely connected with the fictional story he was supposed to be introducing. Hitchcock speaks to us of other things, principally (and with remarkable consistency) television: about television as institution and apparatus. For him, the television apparatus, like that of cinema, is ludic in nature. Yet its rules differ. In television, presentation is essential. In this article, focusing on the notion presentation, the author wonders, first of all, what Hitchcock the presenter is playing at. Then, how is the delicate problem of “directing the viewer” posed in new ways? What becomes of this desire for mastery, which Hitchcock sees as the essence of his art, when he is no longer dealing with a captive audience the way he is in cinema? Through a definition of an “aesthetic of emergence,” the author suggests answers to these questions in order to shine light on the Hitchcockian strategy.