Tuesday 30 November 2010

Rescue The Hitchcock 9! Or Else.

The British Film Institute, an organisation whose name you may only utter with your hat off and clutched to your heart and a tear in your eye as if it were a beloved monarch, are in the process of undertaking a massive restoration project about which I feel it is my sworn duty to babble at you. Here is a man with a vaguely recognisable voice and some ominous music to furnish you with the deets:

I've already rambled at length about the greatness of Blackmail (the silent version, at least) and The Lodger, and while the rest of the Hitchcock 9 may not be up to the standards of Vertigo or North By Northwest, they still need cherishing, protecting and occasionally cuddling. The term "national treasures" is often used to describe the likes of Bruce Forsyth, but I think we can all agree that the early work of the greatest film director who ever lived is far more deserving of the name than a reanimated corpse with a nylon flannel on his head and a soul-emptying line in 1970s "gags".
Having seen what the BFI can do for knackered old film prints with the exquisite restoration of Anthony Asquith's Underground, The Incredible Suit decrees that all readers should donate one week's pocket money to this worthy cause so that we can all one day gather together in a dark room to look at Alfred Hitchcock's Ring in glorious detail. And if that's not a tantalising prospect then I don't know what is.

So do the clicky thing here to read more intelligent words strung together more coherently by people who know what they're on about, and to find out how to donate to a cause even more worthy than keeping Anne Widdecombe on our screens. I did, and I got a free postcard and everything.
Restoration fans seeking further evidence of the BFI's wonderfulness could do a lot worse than click here. Clicking here, for example, would certainly count as "a lot worse".


  1. I clicked on the second 'here'. Epic fail!

  2. I have an idea to help and sent the following email to the BFI chairman.

    "To: greg.dyke@bfi.org.uk
    Dear Mr. Dyke,

    I have an idea for raising funds for the restoration of the Hitchcock films.

    Why not allow the public to sponsor the restoration frame by frame.

    "The Ring" (1927) for example is 116 minutes long and assuming it was shot at 16 frames per second will have a total of 111,360 frames. If the restoration were to cost say £1,000,000, then each frame could be sponsored by an individual for a minimum of £10 and their name would for ever more be attached to the metadata for that frame. There could be a rush generated to bag the best frames, because they would all be listed one by one with a small picture of the frame. In "The Ring" for example the best frame of a knock out would go first.

    This is a very attractive idea. It may not be original in which case I'm sorry to have bothered you."