Hitchcocktober Returns to Gateway Film Center
A month long celebration of the macabre commences Thursday, October 1, at Gateway Film Center. For the fifth year running, the theater will devote screens to the work of Alfred Hitchcock for the entirety of October. But you can’t pay tribute to the master of suspense with another year of the same old thing, so Gateway programmer and president Chris Hamel embedded some surprises.
This year, the film center has programmed the largest number of Hitchcock titles of the series, added daily screenings at 2 and 7pm, and will bring in a live, in-theater musical performance by the Andrew Alden Ensemble to accompany Hitchcock’s silent film, The Lodger.
“The Andrew Alden Ensemble has worked with us before, and they are adding something extra special to Hitchcocktober,” says Hamel. “They’re this extraordinary story we love at GFC: a group of independent artists who travel and create the art they love all around the country. And they’re movie-related, which makes it the perfect pairing with the film center.”
Gateway’s also paired its annual autumnal celebration with another local Halloween tradition, HighBall, “the nation’s fiercest costume party.” Gateway’s October 22nd screening of Rear Window serves as the kick off for the Short North Halloween fashion event.
“HighBall is something we love and believe in at GFC,” Hamel says of the Columbus costume couture event. “Johnny (DiLoretto – GFC’s Director of Communications) hosted last year and will host again this year. We are big fans. So I’ve stayed in touch with their leadership and shared that we’d love to host the kickoff. I was thrilled we worked it out, and I think both HighBall attendees and our GFC guests are going to have a blast at the Warm-Up Night.”
Hamel says that it’s the popularity of Hitchcocktober that drove him to expand and improve the series this year.
“We feel a duty to honor the people who come back for it every year by surprising them with extraordinary things,” he says.
With all the filmmakers that could be associated with a Halloween tradition, why Hitchcock?
“There are so many worthwhile movies and filmmakers connected to this time of year, but there is no close second to Hitchcock,” he explains. “He created a genre and continues to define it to this day.
And the movies are as tense and thrilling now as they were when they were made. It’s really rare that classics are still this fun and frightening. That’s why there’s only one Master of Suspense.”
Hamel’s particularly excited to start the program with Dial M for Murder.
“That giant phone prop they used for the forced-perspective shots is something I always remember and associate with Hitchcock, who was capable of being so sinister and so playful at the same time,” he says. “I personally can’t wait to see The Lodger with the live musical accompaniment. And of course seeing Psycho on Halloween night is a tradition that warms my heart. And chills the blood!”
The full program, screening daily at 2 and 7 pm:
DIAL M FOR MURDER
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
THE WRONG MAN
TO CATCH A THIEF
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
October 22, 6:30pm
HighBall Warm Up Party and screening of REAR WINDOW