Book Talk: The Architecture of Suspense
Alfred Hitchcock created cinematic sets that deeply impact our experience of his suspenseful films. As Christine Madrid French reveals in her new book, Hitchcock imbued his work with a keen sense of place and architectural style.
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In The Architecture of Suspense, French shares untold stories and takes us to many of the actual buildings that served as Hitchcock’s inspiration. From the enclosed spaces of Rope and Rear Window to the wide-open expanses and cityscapes of North by Northwest, the physical worlds inhabited by often desperate characters are a crucial element in our perception of the Hitchcockian universe. French also shows how the widespread unemployment of the 1930s resulted in a surge of gifted architects transplanting their careers into the film industry, creating sets that drew from contemporary design and referenced real structures. The Architecture of Suspense is the first book to document how these great architectural minds found expression in Hitchcock’s films and how the director used their talents and his own unique vision to create an enduring and evocative cinematic world.
At the conclusion of the talk, guests are invited to join French for a book signing in the CAC Design Store. The book will also be available to purchase at a special discounted price.
Speaker: Christine Madrid French
Christine is an expert in architecture in film and Hollywood history. She co-founded and served as Chief Creative Officer of MILA Entertainment in Los Angeles, launched with the goal of bringing diverse stories to the screen. Her feature-length unproduced screenplay “Piney Croft,” based on paranormal experiences in Maitland, Florida, was selected as a semi-finalist in four 2020 festivals including iHorror and the Madrid International Film Festival. A graduate of the University of Utah and the University of Virginia, Christine is also experienced in development, raising more than $2.5 million for non-profit causes over the last decade. In addition to this book talk, she will be presenting a screening of North by Northwest at Music Box Theatre on Sunday, November 6.