Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Top Films: More MacGuffins

If number seven on the list of top films is a trio of Hitchcock works, somewhere around fourteen come another bunch. They could all be tied together under the themed of messed-up love stories, but that is not always the main theme of each film.  

In (far too) brief:
"Notorious" (1946) 
A spy is ordered to tell the woman he loves to marry another man in order to use the relationship to get information.
"To Catch a Thief" (1955) 
A thrill seeking rich girl is taken with an ex-cat burglar who is trying to prove his innocence in a new string of robberies. Whether she believes his innocence or not is less important to her than the thrill of danger she feels when with him.
"Vertigo" (1958) 
A cop falls in love with another man’s wife he is hired to protect. After she commits suicide, he tries to makeover another (or so he thinks) woman to look like his dead object of affection.
"The Birds" (1963) 
A chance encounter and a bit of a practical joke lead to a man and a woman coming together as the natural world begins to react against humanity. Relationships as well as mankind’s relationship to nature have been taken for granted and the result is catastrophic.

All of these films have other (sometimes) more important elements of plot, but it is this distorted perspective on what the world calls love that ties these movies together and speaks to something the world today needs to hear. What the world sees as love is really selfish, manipulating, about taking and not giving. When true selfless love is lost, the very fabric of society begins to crumble. The way “love” has been perverted in today’s western culture does not bode well for that culture’s survival.

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