rope

All posts tagged rope

We hit up the rather obscure Hitchcock movie Rope, and I was elated at how it reminded me of those simple, "one" act plays like The Boor and Twelve Angry Men. It begins with the murder of a third man by two educated, east-coast students who find it intellectually stimulating to then put him in a box and serve a dinner party on his coffin. The entire movie takes place in this one apartment.

1948, Hitchcock gave us what is still one of the most challenging films about homosexuality today. The students repeat a misunderstood Nietzchian ideology of ubermensch who are privileged with the right to kill those inferior to themselves, and execute the perfect murder and use its vain and morbid soiree as a testament to their superiority, even so far as inviting the perceptive professor that seeded their work. But as we watch them make judgment on their victim, and justify their act with intelligence, we mirror our own judgments on a film about two less-than-ambiguously gay conspirators. Hollywood would have "killed" the film had it not been toned down from the far more flamboyant play it was based on. The fetish of the murder weapon, a rope, works as well as an amorally erotic fetish.

As one of the first famous directors to understand the technical side of film-making, it's little wonder he is the greatest uncredited influence to camerawork today. At a time when others were blindly filming movies like plays, he was filming a play like a movie.