Hitchcock madness

Janet Leigh is the classic scream queen.

Janet Leigh is the classic scream queen.

The State Theatre

985 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95604

(530) 885-0156

Alfred Hitchcock scared the shit out of me when I was 10 years old.

Flocks of ordinary sea-faring birds transforming into horrific human-pecking monsters is not something a fifth-grader generally sees in a film.

True, I was probably a bit too young to understand the mastery of The Birds—I just avoided windows and coveys of birds for a couple of years—but I’ll never forget that first Hitchcock experience.

He was a bit crazy, yes, but he also was a cinematic genius. Who else could use chocolate syrup to construct the goriest shower murder scene in history? Long before M. Night Shyamalan shocked and awed the masses in The Sixth Sense, Hitchcock created the psychological thrillers North by Northwest and Vertigo, with one hand tied behind his back.

So, to honor of the craziness and brilliance of the man behind the camera, the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center will host an Alfred Hitchcock film festival Friday, April 16, through Sunday, April 18. Six of Hitchcock’s most famous films will be featured. Hitchcock fiends can purchase an all-festival pass for $39, but those who have their favorites can choose individual screenings for $8 each.

Unspeakable evil will be featured in Shadow of a Doubt, which will show Friday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. Murder is the theme on Saturday, April 17, for screening of Strangers on a Train, Rear Window and Vertigo. Plus, James Stewart is featured in two of the films—so you can’t go wrong there. North by Northwest and Psycho will close out the festival Sunday, April 18.

There also will be a lecture by Michael Callahan, who is a former film critic and a Hitchcock scholar. Seriously. He’ll discuss Hitchcock’s cinematic tricks and themes on Sunday, April 18, at 1:30 p.m. Only those who have a festival pass can attend the lecture. Yet with all these classics being featured on the big screen, there really shouldn’t be a dilemma about purchasing the festival pass.