A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #33: The Good, the Bad and Alfred Hitchcock

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3We have had a certain Norman Bates over for a fresh, hot cup of culture before, but this is the first time we’re dedicating an entire episode to the Master of Suspense himself – and, more specifically, to good gals, good guys and villains in three films by Hitchcock. From Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains and the ambivalent love triangle of Notorious to the wild ride and camp masculinities of North by Northwest and the shattered allegiances and mummy issues of Psycho (but then, it’s mother issues all the way down in Hitchcock, isn’t it?), join us – and our guest for June, Sam – for a chat about the good, the bad and Alfred Hitchcock!

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3We have had a certain Norman Bates over for a fresh, hot cup of culture before, but this is the first time we’re dedicating an entire episode to the Master of Suspense himself – and, more specifically, to good gals, good guys and villains in three films by Hitchcock. From Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains and the ambivalent love triangle of Notorious to the wild ride and camp masculinities of North by Northwest and the shattered allegiances and mummy issues of Psycho (but then, it’s mother issues all the way down in Hitchcock, isn’t it?), join us – and our guest for June, Sam – for a chat about the good, the bad and Alfred Hitchcock!

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The Compleat Ingmar #9: A Lesson in Love (1954)

A Lesson in Love doesn’t exactly start very well, at least from a contemporary perspective: after an arch voiceover telling us to prepare ourselves for a comedy for grownups, we first meet a comely but angry young woman, Susanne (played by Yvonne Lombard), listing the failings of her older lover, the gynaecologist David Erneman (Bergman regular Gunnar Björnstrand). The lines are sharp, even witty, but it still seems that we’re watching what is essentially a male fantasy: obviously the young, attractive patients of a middle-aged, jaded gynaecologist would fall over themselves to undress for him in private as well as in his practice. It’s not that Bergman spares his protagonist, but whatever criticism is leveled at David, in the end it doesn’t matter. Young women seem magically attracted to him, and even as Susanne berates him for his cynicism, she still can’t help begging him to continue being her lover.

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