2.21.2009

Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)

A while back on a family vacation trip at Universal Studios, I watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) in 3D. I still remember being terrified of all the realistic animations of many birds flying towards me. This memory still haunts me when I think of Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock scared me as a kid and still has the capability of scaring me now as I'm years older. Vertigo (1958), a psychedelic film by Alfred Hitchcock shocks his audience with horrific suspenseful thrills. Some of the scenes in Vertigo strikes a resemblance to Salvador DalĂ­'s approach with avant-garde films. Hitchcock gives his audience a sense of vertigo by distorting acrophobia with how M.C. Escher perceives endless staircases. While watching the mystery of Vertigo decipher, suspenseful music and lighting gives a psychological discomfort at what might appear next. Repetitive imagery and color successfully play into motifs and the theme of Vertigo. Carlotta Valdes' portrait shown in Vertigo now marks as an iconic symbol from the film. One couldn't help, but have immense interest in all the symbols throughout Vertigo. The audience can relate to each of the unique and somewhat strange characters. Midge, an artistic and close friend of Scottie had strong feelings for Scottie. Cleverly and humorously, she painted a portrait to convey her feelings, but no spark lit between Midge and Scottie. Who hasn't fallen for a best friend who didn't return the same feelings? Galvin Elster, another close friend of Scottie convinced Scottie to act as a detective on a case concerning his wife. Who hasn't been a victim of falling because others have spotted our weaknesses and fears? And confused yet beautiful Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton helped murder the real Madeleine Elster. Caught between fear and a dagger, she lamented at her own remorse and fell madly in love with Scottie. Our own mistakes, errors, judgement and consequences show we're all human. Her two identities, our own two personas we sometimes put on as a mask. Each of us can relate to the characters in Vertigo. Hitchcock leaves his audience for a handful of satire and dark humor irony in the end. My first reaction was utter confusion and then I didn't know whether I should laugh or not. Vertigo imprinted a lasting impression on me of Alfred Hitchcock. Simply, I'm obsessed with Vertigo and wish to watch another classic Alfred Hitchcock film.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

whoa! intense post! I have always wanted to watch Alfred Hitchcock movies, esp Psycho, but I have never gotten around to it! I feel so out of touch with 'old' movies, i feel lame.

Sum said...

You should really watch a Hitchcock film. Don't feel bad. I only watched Vertigo because of my film class.