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Tributaries

It seems simple (or simplistic) to assume that mimicking another’s easily recognizable quirks is of course a mockery. It is likely, or at least possible, that the parody is a tribute.

High Anxiety, homage or spoof? The send-ups of PsychoThe BirdsVertigo, are all over the top, of course. Mel Brooks is clearly piling on the Alfred Hitchcock tropes and making fun of them, but so lovingly that it could easily be read as an ironic tribute.

I said Camus, but perhaps Woody Allen was aiming for Hitchcock, too. His Irrational Man is among the best of his recent works; it’s dark and introspective. Infidelity, mortality, uncertainty in relationships,  is usual fare for Allen it is always intensely personal. Here, as in Manhattan Murder Mystery he looks at characters who commit murder with indifference.

Hitchcock always served murder with a slice of irony. Nonchalance was the modus operandi of his villainous heroes.

The Ladykillers, famously with Sir Alec Guinness and directed in 1955 by Alexander Mackendrick, finds new life with a hilariously bumbling Tom Hanks under the direction of Coen Brothers. Like the Hitchcock homages mentioned, this film is completely sui generis. It’s originality is fueled by outstanding performances by Irma P. Hall, Hanks, and an ensemble of fools bent on a sketchy get-rich scheme.

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