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Press Releases

Thursday, March 18, 1999

"Hitchcock's Psycho In a Van Sant World" Subject of March 29 Lecture

SALISBURY, MD--Dr. Thomas M. Leitch visits Salisbury State from the University of Delaware on Monday, March 29, to lecture on "Hitchcockâs Psycho in a Van Sant World." The lecture, which might have been entitled "101 Ways to Tell Whose Psycho Youâre Watching," is sponsored by the Cultural Events Committee and will be held in Devilbiss Hall Auditorium on the SSU campus at 7 p.m. Leitch, who teaches cinema studies in the English Department at Delaware, is the author of "Find the Director," and "Other Hitchcock Games" (University of Georgia Press, 1991), a study of the "Games Hitchcock Plays," emphasizing "the audienceâs desire for pleasure (the pleasure of recognizing the director hidden in the discourse)" of his films.

The last chapter of the book, "Only a Game," quotes Hitchcock on Psycho: "My main satisfaction is that the film had an effect on the audience, and I consider that very important. I donât care about the subject matter; I donât care about the acting; but I do care about the pieces of film and the photography and the sound track and all of the technical ingredients that made the audience scresm. I feel itâs tremendously satisfying for us to be able to use the cinematic art to achieve something of a mass emotion. And with Psycho we most definitely achieved this. "Is newcomer Gus Van Sant capable of this level of gamesmanship?

Leitch is now working on a book dealing with crime films for Cambridge University Press. He serves as contributing editor for "Literature/Film Quarterly," published at Salisbury State. The most recent issue (Vol.27, No.1), begins with his essay "Itâs the Cold War, Stupid: An Obvious History of the Political Hitchcock," originally presented at the international IAMHIST Conference on Film and Television Representations of the Cold War, organized by Dr. Jim Welsh at Salisbury State in 1997. His skills as a public speaker are well known in Delaware.

The public is cordially invited to attend. There is no admission charge. For more information contact the SSU Public Relations Office at 410-543-6030.

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