NET GAINS: Alfred Hitchcock presents...

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The Independent Culture
There can't be many deceased sons of Leytonstone who feature in more than 20,000 web sites. Few would argue that Alfred Hitchcock, however, born a hundred years ago, doesn't deserve this on-line ovation. His centenary is being celebrated at the National Film Theatre, where a retrospective of his work is under way.

If you want to learn about the Master, though, choose your site carefully. For every entertaining and informed Hitchcock site, there are dozens of sweaty-palmed shrines to the shower scene in Psycho. The Internet Movie Database ( is a reliable starting point, providing an exhaustive filmography. Of the amateur sites, Greatest Films (, when it's not advertising its awards, finds time to give scene-by-scene commentary of some of Hithcock's better-known films such as North By North West.

Real devotees ought to check out The MacGuffin (, an on-line version of the magazine dedicated to Hitchcock. Densely laid out with an almost illegibly small typeface, The MacGuffin bills itself as "a scholars' [sic] site" and then proceeds to bash film academics. Eccentricities aside, there is a host of engrossing articles here. For a selection of Hithcock links, try TD Film (, or, for a discounted selection of the films themselves, have a look at Blackstar (above)

Left alone

Doubtless the cow-pawed, dollock-handed or kay-fisted amongst The Information's readers are nursing a hangover this morning. For yesterday marked International Left-Handers' Day and on the Web, where no social injustice goes unnoticed, the protests of the differently handed are given a full hearing. Sites such as Gauche! take the issue very seriously indeed - it heralds its mission "to communicate accurate information and simple coping strategies pertinent to left-handers living in a right-biased society" ( primate/). This largely comprises a lot of gripes and the odd tip posted by visitors to the site. Lorin's Left-Handedness Site, despite its name, is a far more rounded look at the issue, going beyond politics and into the science of left-handedness.