Brow Beat

Hitchcock’s Obsession With Eyes Gets a Great  Supercut

James Stewart.

Still from Vimeo

One of the best video essayists around, Kogonada, specializes in the exploration of directors’ stylistic tics—Wes Anderson’s symmetrical shots, Darren Aronofsky’s use of sound, Kubrick’s one-point perspective. His latest, for the Criterion Collection, is a short but stunning exploration of Alfred Hitchcock’s obsession with eyes.  

Like much of Kogonada’s work, the video exposes the method behind the madness: Hitchcock’s rigorous and formal technique are well-known, but here we see how deftly he used actors’ eyes to express what the camera couldn’t. He employed these close-ups as a sort of shorthand, with the eyes functioning as large, layered reservoirs of emotion that instantly immerse the audience.