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Boke and Hitch (redux)

Hitchcock is Bokenkamp’s greatest inspiration as a creator. No question.
We’ve covered a list of nods to Hitchcock we’ve seen in TBL. From time to time I like to drop in some quotes tying JB and Hitch together. That’s all this post is.
I’ve seen a number of references to films JB has been influenced by—Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, Oceans 11, Three Days of the Codor, Marathon Man, etc—but I’m aware of him referring to only two books: one that contains an interview with Hitchcock, and one about Hitchcock, and one he used as a basis for a screenplay. I think this sheds light on what kind of storyteller he is and what his priorities are.
Here are some relevant remarks JB made in a 2017 interview, which I have posted at least once previously, followed by some Hitchcock references (comments by and about) I pulled together recently. The Hitchcock references might strike a familiar note.
BOKENKAMP
“I’m not good at, ‘Ok, so these are the thematics. It’s a story about love and it’s about X’ .... I read in a book where Hitchcock was talking about movies. He said, ‘We develop a hardy plot and themes emerge as we go along.’ And I thought, Oh thank God. Somebody murdered somebody, they’re burying the body. Later you can go back and figure out, Oh, the body is a metaphor for his mother. I can’t think like that. I’m not smart enough to think that way. For me it’s the big moves. For me it’s about 4 big moves. Or 6. Or 2. Whether it’s an episode or a pitch or a script or movie, I find those moves and then fill in the details.”

Q: With Reddington and why he’s in Agent Keen’s life, what are the mythological archetypes?
A: When you say mythology, I really just mean backstory. I mean, who is —
Q: I thought you meant Joseph Campbell sort of —
A: No, I wish. Oh my God. Nah!
Q: — This is the messenger, and here are the different fairy tales that came from ...
Q: No, that feels very English 101. I’m not, I don’t know that stuff. I feel it: Ok, this is a man versus himself story, man versus nature ... I’m sure we tell those kinds of stories. What I mean when I say we go to the mythology, I just mean we dip into the larger backstory of, What’s really going on? In the X-Files: is the truth really out there? Every third of fourth episode they’d go ... Monster show, monster show, and then they’d have an episode: Here’s a story about these two people, and who are they really, what’s going on with them? So that’s kind of what we do. We flip back and forth. No, I wish we were doing full-on Joseph Campbell stuff. That’d be great.

“You’re borrowing pieces [from films you’ve seen] ... you find little touchstones, little signposts that get you excited. That you want to reference - not reference, rip off. Something like, I want to do something like that! ... look, if it’s a heist movie, I don’t know how I don’t think about Oceans 11. If we’re making a heist episode, what were some of the fun moves there? A sequence with all the people coming together and they all have a different role ... and then you try to make it as different and unique as you can.”
HITCHCOCK
Hitchcock: “I’m not concerned with plausibility. Must film be logical when life is not?”
Hitchcock: “Logic is dull.”
Hitchcock: “Plausibility for the sake of plausibility doesn’t help.”
Hitchcock: "To be quite honest, I am not interested in content at all. I don't give a damn what the film is about. I am more interested in how to handle the material to create an emotion in an audience."
Hitchcock: “Then, of course, the cleverness of the device of transvestism. I am aware that I am equipped with what other people have called a fiendish sense of humor.”
Hitchcock: “I could have made up three scenes just to give that woman a reason for being there, but they would have been completely uninteresting ... Let's be logical. If you're going to analyze everything in terms of plausibility and credibility, then no fiction film can stand up to that approach, and you wind up with a documentary ... To insist that a storyteller stick to the facts is just as ridiculous as to demand of a representative painter that he show objects accurately ... we should have total freedom to do as we like, so long as it’s not dull.”
Hitchcock: “If Pyscho had been in tended as a serious picture, it would have been shown as a clinical case with no mystery or suspense. The material would have been used as a documentation of a case history. We have already mentioned that total plausibility and authenticity merley add up to a documentary. In the mystery-and-suspense genre, a tongue-in-cheek approach is indespensible ... you have to go along with the idea that truth is stranger than fiction.”
Francois Truffaut: "In Hitchcock's personal form of cinematic storytelling, suspense ... plays an important role. [It is] the dilation of a span of time, the exaggeration of a pause, the emphasis on all that makes our hearts beat a little harder, a little faster."
New York Times: “Spinning his sophisticated yarns to create maximum tension, Mr. Hitchcock was not concerned with plausibility, which he regarded as no more important than the MacGuffin, the term he used for the device about which his suspense revolved, whether it be the secret or documents or whatever the villains were seeking or trying to protect.”
New York Times: "Detractors accused Mr. Hitchcock of relying on slick tricks, illogical story lines and wild coincidences, but he usually did not allow viewers time to ponder implausibilities because of the whiplike speed of his films."
New York Times: "Detractors acknowledged his technical expertise in entertaining, but faulted his films for lacking substance and significance, for moral opportunism and for being cynical, superficial and glib in their views of human nature."
New York Times: "Hitchcock was one of the cinema's great psychologists, not so much in his handling of character within his films, but in his handling of his audiences' responses: he seemed, in effect, to direct his audiences far more than he directed his films."
New York Times: "He was the great master of shock effects, of lulling audiences into a sense of security before hitting them hardest."
Vanity Fair:
Another myth about Hitchcock is that he was a perfectionist whose films are models of meticulous pre-production, surface plausibility, and narrative coherence. Using his celebrated storyboards (many of which are reprinted in Hitchcock’s Notebooks), he would map out the movie like an extended comic strip. The actual filming would be a faithful transference of his sketchbook to celluloid.
Hitchcock undeniably did his homework, but his homework often had a lot of holes. Reviewing Secret Agent (1936) in the London Spectator, Graham Greene noted such laughable absurdities as “the secret agent who loudly discusses his instructions in front of the hall porter of a Swiss hotel and who brandishes his only clue to a murder in a crowded casino,” and lamented, “How unfortunate it is that Mr. Hitchcock, a clever director, is allowed to produce and even to write his own films, though as a producer he has no sense of continuity and as a writer he has no sense of life.”
Hitchcock’s work was always glitchy. The critic Manny Farber cited “a speeding car in which the only thing moving is Ingrid Bergman’s overteased coiffure” in Notorious (1946); Rope has a scene in which Farley Granger, giving one of the worst performances of anyone’s career as a member of a Leopold-Loeb pair, smashes a glass he’s holding in a moment of fright and soon after sits down at the piano to play, both hands unbandaged (he would have been bleeding all over the keys); and Camille Paglia considered the New England accent of the shopkeeper in The Birds (1963), which is set in Bodega Bay, California, “a major gaffe.” In Hitchcock’s later work—papier-mâché puppetry of Cold War intrigue such as Torn Curtain (1966) and Topaz (1969)—the fakery (rear projections, tacky sets) showed Hitchcock unable to keep up a good front.
Recording such flubs is not to engage in revisionism at Hitchcock’s expense but to place his strengths and flaws in perspective. As Manny Farber wrote, “To put Hitchcock either up or down isn’t the point; the point is sticking to the material as it is, rather than drooling over behind-the-camera feats of engineering.” Hitchcock’s greatness is as a pictorial showman—a creator of billboards—not as a conscientious realist.
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Christmas day activities - 2019 edition

Christmas Day 2019
This is an update from last year's list which is an update of some list from a year or two ago.
Outdoor Activities
If the weather is good (check forecast[1]), here's some outdoor activities:
[1] Weather forecasts by Metservice and Weather Watch.
Indoor Activities:
Event searches
Public Transport
Auckland Transport's Public Transport holiday timetables from 23 December 2019 - 12 January 2020. Waiheke ferry timetable (pdf).
Food and Drink
Go to the supermarket on Christmas Eve to stock up on food and essentials. No supermarket and most businesses will be closed on Christmas Day. Christmas Day is one of very few mandatory public holidays in NZ, even the casino is closed 24 hours. Only places allowed to remain open are petrol stations, some fast food places and restaurants.
Hospitality businesses (restaurants, cafes etc) are able to charge a public holiday surcharge if they open on public holidays. If they do so they have to state clearly (ie sign at the door, or counter or menu). This public holidays are 25 and 26 December 2018, and 1 and 2 January 2019. FYI 26 December is also known as Boxing day in NZ.
Alcohol cannot be served unless with a meal[2]. So if something that looks like a pub is open, it is highly likely they are open to serve meals and you can order an alcoholic drink with your meal.
Restaurants that are open tend to be fast food places like McDs, KFC, restaurants that are part of hotels, a few ethnic restaurants and maybe a handful of others.
[2] That particular law applies only to Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day as well as before 1pm on Anzac Day. Legislation: Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Despite the date of the act, the law has been around for some time. 2010 news article about it. Sale and supply on Anzac Day morning, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas Day restricted: on-licences.
Without any particular order:
Other essential info
Alcohol and smoking in public areas
Please note that there's usually an alcohol ban in many public areas like bus stops, parks, reserves etc. This means you are banned from consuming alcohol publicly unless you are in a licenced establishment (ie restaurant). Alcohol bans are either for an event, for extended periods or permanent. For more information about alcohol ban in Auckland.
Auckland Smokefree policy has a list of places where smoking is not permitted. This isn't limited to indoor areas only. It also includes parks, playgrounds, bus stops.
With NY celebrations coming up I won't be surprised if there's both alcohol and fire bans in popular beach areas and parks too.
Fire Season
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is updating the fire seasons for Auckland. From Monday 2 December it will declare a restricted season across greater Auckland and a prohibited fire season across all the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. A prohibited season means a total fire ban, with any current fire permits for the area suspended from the date the prohibited season starts. A restricted fire season means any open-air fires will need a permit.
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