Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Vertigo Essay Research..In Progress...

"The goal of the comedies requires what I call the creation of the woman, a new creation of a new woman. This takes the form in the comedies of something like the woman's death and revival, and it goes with the camera's insistence on the flesh-and-blood reality of the female actor. When this happens in Hitchcock, as it did in Vertigo...it is shown to produce catastrophe: the woman's falling to her death" (170-1)

"In Vertigo we do not exactly move from a real place to a projected place, but we are made to share the hero's quasi-hallucinatory, quasi-necrophilic quest in the realm of the subjunctive for the woman he imagines dead. The confusion over the question whether there is one woman or two, or whether one woman is alive or dead, feels like a confusion within his own identity. His existence takes place elsewhere than the world we see." (179-80)

"Hitchcock films make nakedly clear the power of film to materialize and to satisfy (hence to dematerialise and to thwart) human wishes that escape the satisfaction of the world as it stands; as perhaps it will ever, or can ever, in fact stand." (180)

"That to be human is to have, or to risk having, this capacity to wish; that to be human is to wish, and in particular to wish for a completer identity than one has so far attained; and that such a wish may project a complete world opposed to the world one so far shares with others" (181)

"the question what becomes of objects when they are filmed and screened...has only one source of data for its answer, namely the appearance and significance of just those objects and people that are in fact to be found in the succession of films, or passages of films, that matter to us." (182-3)

Cavell, Stanley (1984) Themes out of school: effects and causes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

"For the beginning of the scene inside Ernie's restaurant, Hitchcock creates a complex moving camera shot which, although not from any character's point of view, is highly evocative of Scottie's (James Stewart) sense of the situation.  The spatial relationships between the camera, Scottie and the Elsters are crucialto the shot's meaning. There are also other elements such as the music, costume and Scottie's movement which enhance the overall emotional effect." (88)

"Bernard Hermann's music, which started as the roving camera moved towards Madeleine, begins to climb the musical scale and gain in volume.  Converseley, the diagetic sounds of the restaurant are faded down, overtaken by the dominant strains of violins. This creates a build-up to the crescendo of aural and visual effects which mark the affective climax of the scene." (91)

Gibbs, John, Pye, Douglas (2005) Style and meaning: studies in the detailed analysis of film. Manchester: Manchester University Press.


“the film tells a version of the myth of Persephone, whom Hades, the god of the underworld, seized as his wife. Persephone's mother, the grain goddess Demeter, refused to let the earth bear fruit until her daughter was found. A compromise was reached: Persephone would return to life for half the year and would spen the other half in Hades.
“The colour scheme of Vertigo accords with the Persephone analogy. After the prologue in which Scottie witnesses the policeman's fall, we see him in Midge's apartment. The colours are uniformly autumnal. He wears brown; the window shades are yellow straw; he mounts a yellow kitchen stool. In direct contrast he first sees the vernal Madeleine, who wears a vivid green dress, in the red interior of Ernie's restaurant. “ (Bandy, Monda , 2003:253-4)
“She is later identified with vegetable life. When Scottie trails her through a dark alleyway, Hitchcock suggest a pagan mystery rite by capping the sequence with a shot of her in a vrightly lit florist's shop; she leads her pursuer to Carlotta's grave in a richly flowered churchyard, where sh places flowers she has bought, and then to a museum, where she sits before a portrait of Carlotta with flowers.” (Bandy, Monda , 2003:254)

“Strpping away the hoax of reincarnation and the myths of eterna; recurrence, Hitchcock reveals his protagonist as a man caught in obsession, enraged by erotic rivalry, and capable of finding satisfaction only with an imaginary woman.” (Bandy, Monda , 2003:256)

Bandy, Mary Lea, Monda, Antonio (2003) The hidden God: film and faith. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.


“ Though perfectly mirroring each other, the treble voice descending as the bass voice ascend, the effect is one of dissonance”
“A kindred symmetry of formal elements leading finally to dissonance and dissolution is enacted in Vertigo's narrative line: in the way its action doubles back upon itself, constructing and deconstructing its own discourse on matters of similarity and difference, innocence and guilt, past and present, illusion and reality.” (251)

Gottlieb, Sidney, Brookhouse, Christopher (2002) Framing Hitchcock: selected essays from the Hitchcock annual. Michigan: Wayne State University Press.

“The moment when Judy appears as Madeleine is amongst the mosy chilling that cinema has to offer. The setting is her cheap hotel room, permanently bathed in green from the neon light outside. It is from this surreal glow that Judy emerges – and there is no doubt that the woman Ferguson takes into his arms is Madaleine.” (Fulwood, 2003:146)
“their embrace turns into a kiss, the camera circling them. The hotel room is replaced by darkness, which embraces them both...Darkness gives way to a dim half-light and the scene shifts seamlessly to the coach-house at the hacienda where Madeleine committed suicide.” (Fulwood, 2003:146)

“The film relates this plunging gaze of its hero with the “doubling” of his object of desire – the woman who literally plunges into the abyss, and which he recovers by painfully reconstructing her image. In other words Vertigo is a story of creation (by making an image, a reflection, a double)” ( Lahiji, Friedman, 1997:99)

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