As the term wraps up and the holidays rapidly approach, we here at the Trent Film Society are preparing for our final screening of the semester! In the spirit of the season, we are teaming up with Artspace to bring you a holiday party and film screening.
On Wednesday, December 7th at 8pm, we will be decking the halls of Artspace and bringing you a festive shindig to take your mind off of exams and get you in the holiday mood. Artspace will be selling beer for $5 and we will be serving up some tasty, festive treats for free. We will also host a Classic Hollywood trivia game and hand out prizes to our most knowledgeable attendees! Then, we will settle in for a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951).
We were eager to screen a Hitchcock film this year, but we wanted to select a film that some of you may not have seen before. As much as we love Psycho, Rope and Vertigo, we opted for something a little less popular, but a classic nonetheless. Therefore, we chose Strangers on a Train. Have you ever wanted someone out of your life? Ever felt like someone was holding you back? Well, Guy Haines and Bruno Anthony have! Two strangers board a train and strike up a seemingly innocent conversation. They discover that they both wish to eliminate someone from their lives; but would likely fall under suspicion if that person were to disappear. Then, they devise the most wicked and devious plan; they will switch murders. Guy will kill Bruno’s intended victim and vice versa. Thereby, allowing them both to concoct alibis. It’s the perfect crime… or is it?
Hitchcock is indisputably one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. Dubbed the “master of suspense”, Hitchcock rose to fame with his chilling stories of murder, crime and corruption. He got his start in early British cinema; his film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) is a beautifully made film inspired by real-life serial killer Jack the Ripper. The film is reminiscent of the German Expressionist films which so inspired Hitchcock and has been considered the first of his films to truly showcase his “Hitchcockian style”. After gaining success in Britain with silent and sound films, Hitchcock moved to the United States to begin working in Hollywood. He became famous for his mingling of dark humour with suspense and directed a slew of popular features. French film theorists regard Hitchcock’s body of work as being an exemplified representative of auteurship; his style was recognizable and he repeatedly utilized specific themes and motifs. Hitchcock’s incorporation of a MacGuffin or “red herring” into his narratives (a person and plot device meant to distract from the issue at hand) has inspired many generations of filmmakers and sparked countless imitations. Hitchcock’s interest in psychoanalysis is made evident throughout his body of work. Many of his films feature icy blondes, the wrongly accused, convoluted criminal plots, charismatic killers and twist endings.
Hitchcock loved to divert audience expectations with plot twists and unexpected surprises; such as killing off a popular celebrity early on in the film. This convention has been adopted by many modern day filmmakers; in fact, people often suggest that Psycho (1960) was the first slasher horror movie which inspired an entire subgenre of film. Hitchcock’s films are truly film lovers’ films, with references, in-jokes, parodies and stylistic tributes cleverly twisted into their production.
We hope that you will join us for this final screening of the term to help celebrate another successful semester at Trent Film Society.
We are so grateful for all of your participation and support for this film club. Our screenings are so frequently met with such excitement and enthusiasm; it fills us with joy to know that you all have made a special place for cinema in our community. We have some exciting events planned for the Spring, including our second annual Snowdance Film Festival; a short film festival showcasing the work of local filmmakers. And always, starting back up in January, we will be hosting a free screening every Wednesday evening.
Join us on Wednesday, December 7th at 8pm at Artspace for our holiday party and free screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.