The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Comic Critic's review of "Stage Fright"

When I watched Stage Fright, I was immediately struck that Alfred Hitchcock started the story with exposition dialogue. Immediate exposition is not something you present unless you are trying to set a tone. Think of the running paragraph of words that fade into the universe at the beginning of Star Wars, or fairy tales that begin, “Once upon a time, in a land, far, far away…” But the start of Stage Fright wasn’t like that. So I’m wondering just what Hitchcock is up to, and that thought nags at me throughout the film until, of course, Hitchcock does his reveal. That nagging little feeling keeps you unsettled all through the movie, and it makes you suspicious of all the characters. And some of the characters are put in the film for sheer fun. A good example is the “Lovely Ducks” lady. There’s really no reason to have her in the movie at all, except that the audience is treated to a wonderfully orchestrated moment of humor and setting that backhandedly builds suspense. Another lovely character in the movie is the father. Played by one of my favorite character actors, Alastair Sim, is so quirky and comfortable with being himself that the mother, played by Sybil Thorndyke, and he obviously live separate lives, but remain married. Hitchcock provides richness to even casual characters, which with the level of suspicion he’s introduced into Stage Fright, has you questioning whom he going to go deeper with, and what clues you will discover along the way. Once you get to the end of the movie, you realize it has been filled with Easter Eggs and clues throughout, and you want to go back and count them all as you view Stage Fright again.