Vertigo FILM review

Film / Video Reviews
Vertigo FILM review
Apr 24, 2007, 03:56


VERTIGO directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Like most of Hitchcock's work the actual plot of Vertigo is secondary. In fact, the story in its entirety is virtually the famed Hitchcock McGuffin. That is, all the films' various mysteries and twists are merely devices enabling the director to visually represent the themes of obsessive and unrequited love. He conveys intensely deep feeling through fantastically cinematic means. We become one with Jimmy Stewart and join his search for the truth which becomes analogous to the rise and fall of a certain kind of love: The distanced attraction; the initial flush of desire and fantasy; the joy of contact; the compulsion to control, remake and remodel; the anger at resistance and individuality; the desire for all too subjective truth; the ultimate destruction of love and self. Stewart embodies all of this for Hitchcock and us. And likewise, Kim Novak responds with suspicion, hope, unconditional love and abandon, dependence, fear and ultimately the death of the self. Stewart and Novak expertly perform mute theatrical face dances and convey all the pain of love.

When faced with such raw feeling, the sophisticated New York audience jamming the fabulous Zeigfeld Theater tittered in its typically banal and mundane yuppie vanity and insecurity. Pity the fools. Did they pay $8.50 a piece (plus a service charge if they bought tickets over the phone) to merely applaud their own good taste and note their superiority in the face of apparent anachronisms? Idiots. If they could shred the tiresome irony mongering and tourist level Entertainment Weekly date-impressing ignorance, they'd experience a movie that is actually a highly metaphorical visual presentation in the form of a timeless hyper-reality. A note to culture vultures and urbane urban overpaid regulars: Lassie was about a dog, but The Birds was not about birds.

-Dave Rick

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