Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hitchcock and Catholicism

From the National Catholic Register:
Hitchcock had a difficult time adjusting to the changes that followed Vatican II, and he once turned down an opportunity to meet personally with the Pope. But while he may have drifted from the active practice of his Catholic faith in mid-life, Catholicism nonetheless found its way into his stories. Many of his most popular films – such as “I Confess,” “Vertigo,” “Rear Window,” “Strangers on a Train” and others – employ religious imagery and themes.

Reflecting on Hitch's embrace of faith in his later years, Father Henninger wrote:

Some people find these late-in-life returns to religion suspect, a sign of weakness or of one's 'losing it.' But nothing focuses the mind as much as death. There is a long tradition going back to ancient times of memento mori, remember death. Why? I suspect that in facing death one may at least see soberly, whether clearly or not, truths missed for years, what is finally worth one's attention.

Weighing one's life with its share of wounds suffered and inflicted in such a perspective, and seeking reconciliation with an experienced and forgiving God, strikes me as profoundly human. Hitchcock's extraordinary reaction to receiving communion was the face of real humanity and religion, far away from headlines … or today's filmmakers and biographers.
(Read more.)

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