About the editor:- Ken Mogg

Ken Mogg passed away on the 2nd of February 2023. Ken has posted almost every week for over 20 years on this blog, and leaves behind a vast array of published articles (Print & Web) and the book "The Alfred Hitchcock Story" (2 editions). His intellectual contribution in the study of Alfred Hitchcock will be missed. Ken's large collection of Hitchcock books have been incorperated to the Monash University Cinema Studies library. (AF)

Tribute to Ken on Film Alert 101

Ken had an Honours degree from the English department at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). He was in the first intake of students in the 1960s. His thesis was on Dickens. If you would like to read Ken's thesis titled "The nature and function of Evil" you can download a PDF here

Ken worked on a Masters of Education at La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia). He did not submit this masters thesis due to political/culrural issues with his supervisor. Over the last 40 years fashions in film theory have changed considerably and Ken's thesis may now be viewed very differently. If you would like to read Ken's thesis titled '"Imaginative Certainty" : The Hitchcock Thriller as Dream' you can download a PDF here

" I'll keep this brief "

For several years I was in charge of film studies in the Film/TV Department, College of Advanced Education, Melbourne University, Australia.

I've always lived in Melbourne. I took my Arts Honours degree at Monash University, where I picked up a University Prize in English and helped found and run the university's Film Group. Later, while working full-time in the above Department, I began work on a Master's thesis about Hitchcock but didn't complete it. Frankly, writing the thesis while teaching several Hitchcock (or Hitchcock-related) courses to undergraduates, felt like trying to cram an ocean into a wine glass!

Also, I had begun to notice how certain academic ways and mindsets are theory-bound or worse. Like the good yoga student I aspired to be, I wanted to see things whole and 'as they really are'.

But afterwards I resumed study for another degree and a diploma. Subsequently I taught Film and English at university, secondary-school, and adult-education levels. Nearly always the emphasis was on Hitchcock! My main teaching-interests have been Hitchcock movies, world cinema, the 19th-century English novel, and just ideas generally (though not for their own sake - more for keeping aware of the limits of perception) ...

My yoga teacher of many years, Shri Vijayedev Yogendra (his father founded the 'modern' yoga movement in Bombay in the 1920s), was a big influence. So, too, has been a very good friend, Freda Freiberg (an authority on Japanese cinema, women's issues, and the Holocaust). Today I practise yoga with the Brahma Kumaris.

Alfred Hitchcock once sent me a copy of Truffaut's book about him. In 1975, on a short visit to Hollywood, I watched Hitchcock direct the airport scene in Family Plot. I also got to meet and interview Edith Head, Albert Whitlock, and John Michael Hayes, and visited such interesting places as the Mission San Juan Bautista, San Francisco (my informal version of the 'Vertigo tour'), Santa Rosa, and Bodega Bay ...

At the end of 1990, I had time to start a Film/Alfred Hitchcock Special Interest Group (SIG) for Australian Mensa, and to begin editing the SIG's quarterly 'newsletter', called 'The MacGuffin'. I drew on my experience as both a teacher and a freelance writer.

In 1995, my brother-in-law, Malcolm Parks, instructed me in using a home PC and accessing the World Wide Web. Until then, 'The MacGuffin' had been produced on a small Smith-Corona word-processor. Soon afterwards I started on this website a daily 'blog' about Hitchcock called "Editor's Day" (sometimes "Guest Editor's Day") which still continues, though lately as "Editor's Week".

In 1998, I was invited by David Barraclough of Titan Books in London to write The Alfred Hitchcock Story. That book - the uncut, beautifully illustrated UK edition - received excellent reviews, perhaps the nicest being Dan Auiler's. ('Ken Mogg may know more about Hitchcock and his milieu than any other film critic.') Nonetheless, the book distilled only a tiny amount of my thoughts and understanding of Hitch and his films!

My principal online writings on Hitchcock have been published by the Australian site 'Senses of Cinema'.
Those writings are listed here: Senses of Cinema

My long profile of Hitchcock's life and work, (containing analysis of The Lodger, Murder!, Jamaica Inn, Rope, Vertigo, Psycho and The Trouble With Harry, and referring to opposing literary influences on Hitchcock, viz., Oscar Wilde and G.K. Chesterton) is here: Alfred Hitchcock Master of Paradox
Thomas Elsaesser called the profile 'definitive indeed'.

I continue to be a full-time Hitchcock scholar who prefers to work outside the institutional academic scene. In 2007, critic Adrian Martin (writing on the 'Film-Philosophy' website) called me 'the world's greatest expert on Hitchcock's sources and influences'.

Also, I continue to enjoy, and value, ideas (but not for their own sake) ... Ken Mogg.

To contact AF: info@hitchinfo.net