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Film Quarterly (2013) - Camera, character, counterplot: on watching Hitchcock wrong




When people die in Alfred Hitchcock's films, they tend to die in fairly extravagant ways. But what people have just witnessed is perhaps the most prototypical shot in all of Hitchcock's work, if not in all of cinema: the perspectival shot-countershot. The perspectival shot-countershot is what makes their search fundamentally legible. Yet in his later conspiracy films of the 1930s and 1940s, Hitchcock seems to have developed a different understanding of the kinds of recognitions that perspective allows. Here, White explores how to know that Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes is a conspiracy film and where the conspiracy in Notorious be found.