DIRECTOR ROBIN SWICORD PRESENTS
“Her Reputation Precedes Her”: A Contemporary Appreciation of Ben Hecht and Alfred Hitchcock’s NOTORIOUS
"Director Alfred Hitchcock and screenwriter Ben Hecht made a movie about slut-shaming and “the male gaze” – in 1946. I saw this film on television when I was 11 years old, and I replayed the film in my mind for years afterwards. When I encountered NOTORIOUS again as a young University student, I saw with clarity whatHecht and Hitchcock had taken on in their cloak-and-dagger scenario: Ingrid Bergman’s unapologetic sexuality makes her invisible to the men around her – they can see only the fantasies they are projecting upon her. This ‘male gaze’ gives Ingrid Bergman’s character great cover as a spy. But despite her invaluable work for the F.B.I., Bergman can never quite escape her male employer’s view of her as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” Their blindness nearly costs Ingrid Bergman her life in the service of her country. NOTORIOUS is lushly romantic, heart-breaking, seductive, and unbearably suspenseful – and for me, the sexual politics the film tackles makesit highly contemporary." – Robin Swicord
Ms. Swicord presented her most recent film – WAKEFIELD – at the Rose last summer. In addition to directing the very popular THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB, Ms. Swicord is known for her literary adaptations – LITTLE WOMEN, MATILDA and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.