Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vertigo. I watched Vertigo the other day for the first time since it was named the greatest film of all time for the time being. I have seen it maybe three times now, and have never really warmed to it. It's certainly not my pick for the best film of all time, or even my favourite Hitchcock, or even my favourite Hitchcock from that decade. It's too melodramatic for my taste, too long, with too many shots of a puzzled-looking James Stewart pretending to drive around San Francisco. Visually it does make an impression. I had forgotten the main plot twist - I could only vaguely recall what happened with Kim Novak's "double" and so on - but scenes such as the visit to Muir Woods, Stewart trying in vain to climb the mission staircase, and of course the Vertigo-effect, remained vivid in my memory. I enjoyed watching Stewart go from archetypal everyman to sweating obsessive, which I guess is the primary point of the plot, given Hitchcock reveals the twist well before the end. I'm not so sure about Kim Novak, but she has amazing eyebrows.

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