Get local news delivered straight to your phone

20

SATURDAY

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Although it was the third feature Alfred Hitchcock directed, The Lodger is the first one identifiable as a “Hitchcock movie.” The 1926 film introduced a theme the director would revisit throughout his career: the innocent man ensnared in events beyond his control. It also featured the first (and second, actually) of Hitchcock’s trademark cameos. Singer-actor Ivor Novello (impersonated by Jeremy Northam in Gosford Park) plays a man whose landlady suspects he’s Jack the Ripper. The Lodger is a silent film, and Hitchcock used such techniques as having Novello walk on a glass floor to show the anxious pacing that audiences couldn’t hear. Three years later, the director made both sound and silent versions of Blackmail, another morally slippery thriller, to accommodate the many cinemas not yet equipped for audio. The soundless version is the more visually inventive, but it is rarely screened. Both silents show today, with organ accompaniment by Dennis James, at 2:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)