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Fatal Spaces: Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, and the Art of Murder (2007) by Ryan McBride

author Ryan McBride
publisher VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller e.K. (2007)
ISBN 3836423693 (paperback)

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Before Alfred Hitchcock rose to fame, German director Fritz Lang was con­sidered by many to be cinema's pre-eminent master of suspense. Lang's thril­lers and crime epics had an abiding influence on Hitchcock's visual and nar­ra­tive storytelling, even as, years later, Hitchcock's films would in turn exert their narrative and stylistic influence on the crime films and gothic me­lo­dra­mas Lang made while in America. Significantly, both directors returned time and again to themes of murder and guilty entrapment in the films they cre­a­ted. This study considers the murder scene as the key to understanding the contrasts between Hitchcock's and Lang's aesthetic, narrative and moral vi­sions. It focuses in particular on the ways in which both directors use archi­tecture and filmic space to communicate, in purely cinematic terms, a me­ta­physics of murder. It concurrently examines the implications of the directors' spatial strategies on larger thematic issues such as guilt, identity, sexuality, and the creation of suspense. The book is addressed primarily to students and scholars of Hitchcock and Lang, classic cinema, film aesthetics, and the use of architecture in film.