Many couples are shown in the movie, but no true sexual content is seen or even alluded to.
There is talk of past relationships.
It is vaguely implied that the two male leads are lovers, but no physical or verbal affection between them is seen.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


1974, Lincoln Center Film Academy auditorium. This is another milestone in Hitchcock’s life. In his old age, he was awarded Gala tribute of the film society. He is the third filmmaker in history to win this award. At this exciting moment, the ancient Greek District reviewed his brilliant artistic career and once again conquered the audience with his humorous language. When he talked about the murder theme he was obsessed with, he cited his favorite article, Thomas De Quincey’s murder as one of the fine arts, and added his own explanation: “the best way to do it is to use scissors.” (The best way to do it is with scissors.) This is obviously a pun. Scissors are not only a tool for killing people, but also a way to splice film and make it into a film. It also reminds people of Hitchcock’s article written in 1937, in which he expressed his love for splicing and montage incisively and vividly:

“I want to organize my film on the screen, rather than simply shooting a scene that has been organized like a drama performance. This is the effect of giving a film life – this is a feeling that makes you feel that when you see the film on the screen, it is produced directly by visual means. The screen must say its own Language, a unique language, cannot achieve this if it does not regard a scene as a raw material, separate the raw material, and weave it into an expressive visual image. ”

Montage vs long lens. The great Hitchcock seems to be on the side of montage. But that doesn’t mean Hitchcock doesn’t like long shots. In fact, many famous scenes in his film career use long shots. If this is not enough, then the node of time has brought us into the most famous long shot film rope (1948) in the Hitchcock film sequence. This is another turning point in Hitchcock’s artistic career. Before that, Hitchcock finally ended his troubled contractual relationship with David selznik by shooting the paradise case, and became their own independent production company transatlantic pictures with his good friend Sydney Bernstein. “Soul snatching” is Hitchcock’s first independently produced and directed film and his first color film. If Hitchcock has been unable to resist his impulse to shoot murder and even let the characters in the film tell the art of perfect murder in previous films such as “killing flowers with hot hands”, then in “soul snatching”, he let all these desires be expressed in the most perfect and realistic way. If Hitchcock complained that “soul snatching” was a failed work due to his paranoid “infatuation” in the interview with truffer and others, isn’t Hitchcock a paranoid artist?

“It’s better to set up a stage for the audience to come to the scene!”

The story of “soul snatching” is adapted from the drama of playwright Patrick Hamilton. There are many films adapted from the drama in Hitchcock’s works, but what makes “soul snatching” different is that it is almost a video that uses a moving long lens to present the real space and time of the drama. “Soul snatching” and “back window” are listed as one of Hitchcock’s most experimental films, and this experimental nature stems from Hitchcock’s paranoia about “all-out realism” (truffer’s evaluation of the film). The 80 minute film was cut for only 10 knives, only because the technical conditions at that time only allowed each film to be shot for about 10 minutes. What’s more, almost half of the splicing was carefully hidden by Hitchcock, which naturally formed a black field through the large features of clothes or furniture. When the camera was pulled out again, In fact, Hitchcock has finished a splice.

This paranoid long shot posed a great challenge to the actors and staff at that time. No danger of anything going wrong. Because the Technicolor cameras in the late 40s were extremely large, and all the people were filming in a space modeled on real apartments, they wanted to move the camera and adjust the lighting equipment in the process of shooting, according to the movement of the camera. This is almost a thing that can be done without any risk. A small mistake by a department will lead to the re shooting of the whole scene. Because Hitchcock once again showed his infatuation with closed scenes and claustrophobia in this film, all staff had to cooperate with him to operate in this narrow space. When taking a panoramic view, the furniture of the whole room can be seen clearly. Once the camera advances to shoot a mid shot or close-up, these furniture are often moved, and their position has to be occupied by lighting cameras and other equipment. However, mobile furniture and equipment also cause unavoidable noise. Therefore, the films we see now are actually the result of their shooting and synthesis at least twice. For the first time, they give up the sound receiving equipment and only take the picture, for the second time, they give up the camera and only take the sound, and then combine the sound and picture in the later stage.

Hitchcock’s extreme realism also challenges the actors. If it is said that in the early Hitchcock films, actors with rich drama performance experience could not adapt to the fragment performance method of the film, then in soul snatching, screen born actors such as James Stewart and John Dall had to draw inspiration from the drama performance in turn, so that their performance appeared to be one-stop and not crafty. This film is also James Stewart’s first cooperation with the master. Hitchcock once invited his beloved Cary Grant to play this role, but choosing Stewart is obviously the right choice. “Cary Grant is sexy, but James Stewart lacks it.” But pat Hitchcock said his father thought “the American audience will recognize James more because he symbolizes everyone to Hitchcock.” However, James Stewart himself did not like the work he cooperated with Hitchcock for the first time. He even complained on the set that if Hitchcock was so obsessed with presenting the film in this way, he “might as well set up a stage and let the audience come to the scene!”

From black and white to color

Now, another reason why “soul snatching” is often discussed is that it is Hitchcock’s first color film. According to Warner Brothers’ brochure and the New York Daily News, this is the first “suspense film about murder and detective” made of color film in film history. Hitchcock is the purest aesthetician in the history of film (almost like the two killers in the film, with Wilde temperament). His requirements for light and color are so strict that he finally fired the photographer Joseph Valentine, who once worked with him on suspicious shadow (1943). As he explained in Francois truffer’s interview with him, he believes that Valentino lacks “artistic taste” in color photography:

“I decided to simplify the color. We have built an apartment with a living room, corridor and kitchen. (window) Towards the skyline of New York, and the background is processed into a semicircle… When taking the last four or five tapes, I found that the orange color in the sun was too thick at sunset, so we remade the last five volumes… Valentino said to himself, “well, this is just another sunset.” Obviously, he either hasn’t seen the sunset or hasn’t observed it in enough time, so his shooting results are completely unacceptable. Those things he took were like a gaudy postcard. ”

In Hitchcock’s eyes, the color of this film should be suppressed. Only in this way can it coincide with the world of high-class art intellectuals in the story. We also noticed that the murals on the wall of the well decorated Manhattan apartment in the story were either pencil paintings or black-and-white monochrome paintings. The opening scene of the film – two well-dressed young men strangled another man with a rope – has already hinted at the absence of bright color in the film: the scene takes place in a dark room, the curtains cover the light outside the window, and the three men are wearing black suits and ties, so all we can see are their faces, hands The corners of white shirts and beige curtains to block the sun. After stuffing the body into the suitcase, Brandon, one of the killers, turned on a lamp, which cast a golden light on the room. “No!” His partner Phillip said. Brandon put out the light and lit a cigarette. “It was the darkness that defeated you.” He said happily, “no one will feel safe in the dark.” He turned, walked to the curtains and rolled them up. Outside was the steel cold Manhattan skyline, with a few pink clouds at dusk. Now, the room was looked at by a cool and comfortable light. Brandon said, “it’s a pity that we can’t do it in broad daylight with the windows open!”

The two killers discussed the murder and began to prepare dinner. They walked through the lobby, dining room and kitchen, and then returned to the living room again, where the decoration color was relatively low-key and dark. One long shot followed by another, Hitchcock’s technicians subtly adjusted the tone of the whole set until the skyline outside the window turned into a dark silhouette. In the fifth shot, the sky is dark, the top of the building has almost disappeared into the darkness, and the room is covered with shadows. Rupert turned on the lamp on the piano, which caused Phillip’s anger: “would you mind putting it out?” He turned off the light, and Rupert obeyed without saying anything. In the sixth shot, the room has become so dark that when the servant starts blowing out the candles and cleaning the remnants of the party, she has to turn on most of the lights; At this moment, a rosy skyline is shining on the horizon, and in the shining skyscrapers, a tiny neon lamp is flashing red. Finally, when the final night falls, the light emitted by the electric lamp outlines the whole skyline, and we also see the most gorgeous picture in this film. Rupert took a rope from his pocket and claimed that Brandon and Phillip were murderers; When the camera turned to capture their reactions, the huge s on the neon light on the right outside the window just began to flash. When Rupert opened the suitcase in the middle of the room, the neon light first made his face as green as a patient, and then painted a layer of blood red.

The last scene is a great example of how a theme used to in black-and-white thrillers can be reborn through the power of color. In order to make the audience accept the effect of this lens at the end, Hitchcock used only a very limited color design for most of the film, and avoided high contrast and dramatic shadows. He told truffer: “when I saw the first film development, my first feeling was that color could show more things than black and white.” He immediately realized that he no longer needed “outline line” or back light, because color could clearly distinguish the foreground and background. Although he was strongly opposed by the studio technicians, he insisted that exaggerated shadows should not appear on the walls and characters’ faces. The result of this is a very moderate film, which effectively controls the use of colors. Until the last moment of the film, these colors burst out brightly.

Multiple insinuation

Although “soul snatching” is not a film with obvious religious color, we can still see the inextricable relationship between Hitchcock’s Catholic plot and the film. To kill, relevant people are invited to the killing scene for dinner, and the dinner is set on the box containing the dead. What’s more, it is a luxurious feast. The box is covered with lace tablecloth, thin foot candlestick and exquisite pots and plates. It is almost a religious dinner and the last dinner to celebrate the murder. The staple food of this dinner is the chicken placed on the dead man’s box, and “strangling the chicken” has become a metaphorical joke in the film. On the one hand, the chicken symbolizes the dead under it. On the other hand, “strangling the chicken” has the meaning of male masturbation in Western proverbs. Therefore, the narrative clues of the story are linked by this word with multiple references. Brandon and Phillip strangled their classmate David, which is precisely because they have a same-sex relationship. Arthur Laurents, the screenwriter of the film, said, “when I put the soul snatcher When it was adapted into a film, homosexuality was still a taboo in Hollywood. People can only use ‘it’ to refer to homosexuality. However, this is a play about three homosexuals, ‘it’ must be very obvious so that everyone can feel… Without ‘it’, the story will not make sense. Between the two killers Phillip and Brandon, there is no play that doesn’t imply ‘it’. ”

However, the most symbolic thing is the title of the film, that is, the killing tool “rope” in the film. The two killers strangled their classmates with a rope, then tied the books with the rope and gave them to the dead man’s father. Through this rope, the dead who appeared only once in the film were replaced with some words. As some commentators pointed out, this is a replacement from “reality” to “symbol”. From the perspective of psychoanalysis, Brandon, the killer in this film, is a person who can’t get out of the “real world”. He is a tragic figure who can’t cut off the rope between the “real world” and the “symbolic world”. He is also a figure who can’t cut off the connection between “words” and “actions”. Because of this, when Rupert, his former teacher and father, taught him Nietzsche’s Superman theory, he could not understand it as a literal metaphor, but had to put it into action. Therefore, the assertion that “excellent people can kill inferior people without any moral and legal condemnation” is realized as a carefully planned perfect murder, which is presented in front of othe

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