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Watch: Stanley Kubrick vs. Alfred Hitchcock: Who Would Win?

Watch: Stanley Kubrick vs. Alfred Hitchcock: Who Would Win?

Made you look! Neither would win, of course. Pitting these two directors against each other with the goal of deciding who is “better” might be an interesting critical exercise, but not necessarily something to be proud of. They are both unfathomably complex directors; they created universes with their films that exist separately from each other. Nevertheless, you can find points of similarity in their approaches, as Freddy Smith does in this well-paced piece, apparently done “for school” but readable by those inside and outside the classroom–most notable here is the two directors’ unflinching fascination with taboo subject matter (cf. voyeurism in ‘Psycho,’ orgies in ‘Eyes Wide Shut‘). They diverge, though, when it comes to their approaches: Kubrick favors intellectual remove, whereas Hitchcock delivers a product with elegance and drive. The former made films in a variety of forms, from what Smith calls “stuffy period pieces” (‘Barry Lyndon‘) to more classic horror (‘The Shining‘), while the latter made primarily suspense films (‘North by Northwest‘, ‘Rear Window‘). If you WANT to pick a winner, you can–but why spoil the movies for yourself?

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