April 12, 2009

First, You Need a Crime...A Hitchcock Retrospective

Fresh off the heels of his film noir series in February and March, Barry Kryshka of Take-Up Productions presents a new six-pack for Twin Cities film buffs that really can't be missed: "First, You Need a Crime...Six From Hitchcock".

This is a chance for you to not only see six classics from The Master of Suspense on the big screen, but at a pair of really nice independent theaters - The Heights and The Riverview.

Here are the vital details:

First, You Need A Crime: Six From Hitchcock

Starts April 16 at The Heights
(3951 Central Ave NE)

continues Monday nights at The Riverview
(3800 42nd Ave S)

All shows at 7:30
Tickets: $8 (
Take-Up discount tickets: 5/$25)

It's blondes, blood and blackmail as Take-Up presents our first series at the Riverview Theater!

April 16: North by Northwest (1959)

“I’m an advertising man, not a red herring!” “Crop dustin’ where there ain’t no crops,” the art auction disruption/ escape, the Mount Rushmore duel, the train going into the tunnel: the classic Hitchcock set pieces just keep on coming as Cary Grant finds a simple case of mistaken identity snowballing into a breakneck chase across the country, menaced by James Mason and his two-man goon squad (including Martin Landau), and alternately aided, teased and thwarted by Eva Marie Saint’s double — or is she a triple? — agent.

Buy advance tickets online. (ALMOST SOLD OUT!)

April 20: Rear Window (1954)

Laid up with a broken leg in his two-bedroom apartment in the West Village, news photographer James Stewart wiles away the sweaty summertime hours between visits from gal-with-her-eyes-on-marriage Grace Kelly by zeroing in, via telephoto lens, on the human comedy across his apartment courtyard — but, hey, what’s Raymond Burr up to? From a story by suspense titan Cornell Woolrich (aka William Irish), this is one of the Master’s greatest successes, not only an edge-of-your-chair (in Stewart’s case, wheelchair) entertainment but also a technical tour de force and a meditation on the voyeurism of both filmmaker and audience.

Buy advance tickets online.

April 27: Rope (1948)

Hitchcock’s boldest technical experiment ever, shot in a claustrophobic single set, as a murder by effete, thrill-seeking rich boys Farley Granger and John Dall (as characters based on the real-life Leopold and Loeb) is exposed by Professor James Stewart. Shot in continuously moving ten-minute takes, with mid-reel cuts cleverly masked, the entire film seems to be composed of only four shots (count ’em).

buy advance tickets online.

May 4: Strangers On A Train (1951)

Suave demento Robert Walker (“makes Norman Bates look positively well-adjusted” – Time Out London) offers to switch murders with tennis pro Farley Granger, suggesting that he kill Granger's troublesome wife in return for the murder of his own disapproving father. Granger laughs it off as a sick joke; until Walker fulfills his part of the bargain, that is, dragging the hapless sportsman in to a web of deceit. Screenplay by Raymond Chandler.

Buy advance tickets online.

Read my review of Strangers on a Train here.

May 11: To Catch A Thief (1955)

As jewel robberies proliferate in the south of France, les flics start to look into ex-cat burglar Cary Grant’s supposed “retirement,” but he’s more interested in fireworks over Cannes with fire-and-ice Grace Kelly. Perhaps Hitchcock’s most beautiful-to-look-at work, with ravishing Riviera locations in color, the two stars at their most glamorous, and a “zingy air of sophistication” (Pauline Kael).

Buy advance tickets online.

May 18: Vertigo (1958)

Acrophobic ex-cop James Stewart, hired to shadow seemingly death-obsessed Kim Novak, saves her from drowning in the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge, but not from a fall off a Mission steeple. But then he meets her again... or does he? One of the screen’s most wrenching treatments of loss and — in Stewart’s tormented performance — of sexual obsession.

Buy advance tickets online.

Now, my guess is that it's not a coincidence Barry is kicking this series off on opening night of MSPIFF; I suggest weighing your options on the three conflicting nights and try to support both events at least once - we need both to succeed!


  1. Hi Daniel, thanks for the write-up.

    I would never intentionally set our opening night to conflict with MSPIFF, it really is a coincidence. I mean, unless MSPIFF is out to get us, which seems pretty unlikely. We needed to set our dates early, to promote Hitchcock at the Parkway and Heights films last fall and winter. The MSPIFF dates weren't public knowledge at that time, so we couldn't program around them.

    I was a bit concerned when I first heard about it, but I've always believed that filmgoers in the Twin Cities are passionate and plentiful (it's why I'm so disappointed that MN Film Arts tells us the Oak Street isn't a viable theater) and our sellout conditions at the Heights bear me out.

    In other words, it looks like there's plenty of business to go around, and I suspect both our Hitchcock series and MFA's MSPIFF festival are going to do great.

  2. Thank you for clarifying the date situation, Barry. I shouldn't have assumed you circled that date on your calendar, despite the coincidence. And it's true - the MSPIFF dates and details have been really late in coming (even the opening and closing night films are only publicly available in the program, which was just uploaded to their website over the weekend).

    In terms of sellouts, I'm really encouraged that the response for NxNW has been so great, and while I think it may have helped that no one knew what would open MSPIFF on that night, you're really choosing classic films that people will make an effort to see in a theater. I also think you get the word out early and effectively. It was sad to see some not-so-full audiences at the Oak St. last fall when they did the French filmmaker retrospective, but I really think few people knew about it.

    So I hope people take advantage of both opportunities coming up here. As much as packed crowds can be an inconvenience, it's for the greater good of the TC film community.


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