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Film Quarterly (2009) - Hitchcock's Romantic Irony




Review of "Hitchcock's Romantic Irony" - by Richard Allen

In subsequent chapters Allen rebuts poststructuralist claims to Hitchcock as a poet of the empty signifier; discusses Hitchcockian dandyism and some films' commentary on the relationship between representation and referent, in the manner of The Picture of Dorian Gray; makes the case for German expressionism as a key influence on Hitchcock, with arguments less developed but more keenly focused than John Orr's in Hitchcock and Twentieth Century Cinema (Wallflower Press, 2005); contemplates what Slavoj Žižek calls the Hitchcockian Blot, an incongruous "stain" that signals the immanence of a "chaos world or shadow world" (140) that threatens our habitual reality; and analyzes the emotive, dramatic, and semiotic roles of color in Hitch's mise-en-scène.