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Is Vertigo Really the Greatest Film of All-Time? [TALKING IMAGES]

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St. Gloede
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Is Vertigo Really the Greatest Film of All-Time? [TALKING IMAGES]

#1

Post by St. Gloede »

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It has been 10 years since Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane as the Greatest Films of All Time in Sight & Sounds once-in-a-decade poll of filmmakers, critics and academics. With the 2022 edition coming up, and the real possibility that Vertigo could be unseated, we ask the pressing question: Does Vertigo actually deserve to be number 1?

Note: Since recording this episode it has been revealed that Sight & Sound's Greatest Films of All-Time list will be revealed in their November issue, so we still have quite a few months of anticipation.

Participants:
  • Sol
  • St. Gloede
  • Teproc
You Can Listen Here:

Sounder: https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... f-all-time

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Join the conversation

Is Vertigo a worthy choice for the all-time #1 spot?

What was your reaction when Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane?

What is your experience with Vertigo, when did you first see it and has your impression of it changed over the years?

What is it that makes Vertigo so special? (If applicable to your personal views)

Does Vertigo have any flaws?

Will Vertigo remain on top of the Sight & Sound list or will it be unseated? If so, what films could do it and what winner would you like to see?

Bonus from Teproc: Is Vertigo a meta-commentary on Hitchcock himself, in particular his relationship with his actresses?

Join the conversation with spoilers
Spoiler
Could Vertigo in some ways be seen as a predecessor to Vertigo's notorious twist in that it too changes the perceived genre and focus mid-way?

Do we believe that Judy fell in love with Scotty or was it simply guilt that drow her to please him?

What are your thoughts on Midge's part in the narrative?

Thought on the ending?

Bonus, courtesy of Sol: How the hell did Madeline get past the receptionist?
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#2

Post by hurluberlu »

It has been a decade dominated by populists, tyrans and tycoons, so I would see Citizen Kane regaining points over Vertigo. Mank did give it another echo as well.
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#3

Post by Teproc »

hurluberlu wrote: May 15th, 2022, 10:13 am It has been a decade dominated by populists, tyrans and tycoons, so I would see Citizen Kane regaining points over Vertigo. Mank did give it another echo as well.
I did not think of that. It's true that Citizen Kane has been a lot more in the public consciousness (Fraud at the polls!) in that way, but I don't know if that really changes much for the kind of people who vote in S&S polls. Then again, the group of voters may be pretty different this year, so we'll see.
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#4

Post by matthewscott8 »

I feel it has the strongest claim, it avoids being pedagogic or being mannered, has iconic scenes, character names you remember, iconic music, iconic credits, stars, locations.

It has some sort of sense of life's sweet madness. Whilst a lot of it may come under the heading of male gaze, it's very consciously so, and Midge is a very interesting character too. Hitchcock had a very fine eye for the inherent insanity in the human condition, that reality is a far cry from the tidy gardens of our belief systems and ideologies.

That he could make a film that exemplifies such unpopular views, and yet make it attractive to the everyman/everywoman viewer is a testament to his genius and his seemingly effortless, convincing and close to invisible skills of persuasion.

I'll comment after listening as well.
Last edited by matthewscott8 on May 15th, 2022, 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#5

Post by matthewscott8 »

Something that you guys mentioned that I resonated with is maybe Vertigo is a film that gets better with rewatching, it can be a bit of a "wtf" watch on first viewing. Vertigo definitely improved on multiple rewatches, for me, from being nowhere in my estimation to #17 on my all time toplist. Are there other films that tend to develop drastically with rewatches? Could be another podcast, I tend to cite Blade Runner.

Similar to others it's maybe arbitrary whether I have it at #1 or #17, it has the burden of being obvious. The "obvious" films above it are "Les enfants du paradis", "Wild Strawberries", "Fanny and Alexander", and "Odd Man Out", which are pretty equivalently brilliant, all of which are deep, rich and oblique, and getting at fundamental human characteristics that are blindspots to broad culture. Although I can't find anything at all negative to say about Vertigo, even if I try and go into a devil's advocate position, "if I'm being unfair...".

I agree with Mathieu that Vertigo, in some hard-to-define way, is an outlier for Hitchcock.

Good discussion about Midge. All comes under the heading of why do we make poor romantic choices? I've often seen people turn down or dump romantic or potential romantic opportunities out of hand where you just think, "wow, they'd be perfect for you, and you don't even deserve them", or even maybe more hubristically, "I'd be perfect for you", and "You just dumped the only good part of your life".

Gloede, I think you described the opening chase as "boom boom boom and then it's done", sounds like life no? It's like being in a car crash, everything is going fine, everything is normal and then suddenly everything is wrong and maybe some people are dead. Also plays to the "life in insane" take I have, so really is part of the movie I would describe as the very strongest.
Last edited by matthewscott8 on May 15th, 2022, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#6

Post by matthewscott8 »

I felt a bit protective of Mathieu when he was criticised for comments about the ending not really mattering. I tended to agree. All of the thematics have been developed and underscored at that point, the ending is just the last piece of madness, the fairy-feller's masterstroke.

I wondered if any of you have seen The Dragon is the Frame (Mary Helena Clark, 2014). This movie is an avant garde short shot in San Francisco, which visually references Vertigo throughout, well worth checking out. The point is that the film Vertigo simply has value due to its city tour, colours, mood and deaths. The details of the ending complete the Orphic motif that Boileau-Narcejac strove for, but in some sense I feel "who cares whodunnit", "don't bother me with details", or at least those details. I found simple joy in just the way that Scottie and Madeleine
Spoiler
not Madeleine
look at the redwoods and ponder their age. I contemplate the sheer beauty of what it must have been like to be a Miwok Indian hunting in that forest. Which particular human life was extinguished at the end, don't bother me with your nerdism :P

I am reminded of discussing The Big Sleep with Chris years ago, he had complete recall of the plot, I have watched it a hundred times and for the life of me wouldn't be able to tell you what the plot of the movie is. But I do like to think a lot about that old man in his orchid hothouse recalling eacapades decadally aged, fuelled by champagne and brandy cocktails.
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#8

Post by Teproc »

Thanks for the comments matthew! That film sounds really interesting, I'll add it to the neverending watchlist.
matthewscott8 wrote: May 15th, 2022, 12:58 pm I felt a bit protective of Mathieu when he was criticised for comments about the ending not really mattering
We Matthews/Matthieus (any Matteos out there?) need to stick together.
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#9

Post by matthewscott8 »

Teproc wrote: May 15th, 2022, 1:50 pm Thanks for the comments matthew! That film sounds really interesting, I'll add it to the neverending watchlist.
matthewscott8 wrote: May 15th, 2022, 12:58 pm I felt a bit protective of Mathieu when he was criticised for comments about the ending not really mattering
We Matthews/Matthieus (any Matteos out there?) need to stick together.
it's only 14 minutes and Vertigo is fresh in your mind :teehee:

Well done on the podcast guys, I enjoyed listening, also liked the autobiographical/reflexive perspective, which I hadn't considered before.
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#10

Post by blocho »

Is Vertigo a worthy choice for the all-time #1 spot?
I'm not a fan of ranking movies. With the exception of the yearly polls and country polls, my lists are always unranked. Trying to declare a #1 movie ever feels foolhardy and pointless to me.

What was your reaction when Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane?
I had none. I don't know who decides what goes into that list. I don't follow the list.

What is your experience with Vertigo, when did you first see it and has your impression of it changed over the years?
I think I first saw it during the re-release in 1996, so when I was 11 years old. I went with my parents to the Film Society of Lincoln Center. I remember feeling intrigued and a bit baffled. Even with so much less film experience, I knew that I was watching something very unusual but potent, full of strange meaning. About a year later, my family took a trip to San Francisco, and I remember visiting some of the filming locations.

What is it that makes Vertigo so special? (If applicable to your personal views)
I really need to give it a re-watch. I did see it again after 1996, but it's definitely been 20+ years since my last watch. I do remember thinking it was the deepest a movie ever got into Hitchcock's strange personal psyche, a topic that is present in many of movies but never so prominent.

Is Vertigo a meta-commentary on Hitchcock himself, in particular his relationship with his actresses?
See my response above. In short, yes.
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#11

Post by kongs_speech »

It's highly up there, but I'd have to vote for L'Avventura or The Godfather. Those are my two favorites, anyway.
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#12

Post by hurluberlu »

Great podcast guys, fun and insightful to listen ! Thanks for the effort !

I ranked Vertigo at #179 in our last all-time favorites poll which probably puts me in the "haters" club :lol: .

The first half has an amazing build and offers a wealth of themes, supported by visuals and soundtrack, which is unrivalled. NevertheIess I feel that, in the second half, characters development is a little forced just to lead to the final climax; we have seen everything already as Scottie just returns to all the places he went previously and we are just left with his quest for catharsis - still an enjoyable and rewarding ride if not all-time greatest material.


N.B.: this is the first episode I listen in full. Besides content, quality of the audio made a lot for it, specially Matthieu's (not sure if it is hardware or software driven) but that definitely should set the standard.
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#13

Post by cinewest »

Is Vertigo a worthy choice for the all-time #1 spot?

Absolutely not. While it is one of Hitchcock's better films (from his best period), he is not one of my favorite filmmakers.


What was your reaction when Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane?

It's a fad. Citizen Kane is a much better, more important film.


What is your experience with Vertigo, when did you first see it and has your impression of it changed over the years?

I liked it when I first saw it, but think that the appraisal of Hitchcock and Vertigo are over the top, especially in this day and age.


What is it that makes Vertigo so special? (If applicable to your personal views)_

I guess I can see why it appeals to folks, especially after having some conversations about it over the years with people who love it. I far more appreciate films that have been influenced by Hitch, such as Mulholland Drive.


Does Vertigo have any flaws?

Plenty, but since I haven't seen it for awhile, I won't try to break them down, here, except to say that I tend to find Hitchcock too old fashioned and a bit corny and genre specific to become a real favorite of mine.


Will Vertigo remain on top of the Sight & Sound list or will it be unseated? If so, what films could do it and what winner would you like to see?

Hard to predict without knowing who is being polled. Kubrick, and 2001 both seem to be on the rise. Personally, I would like to see more films from the past 40 years get greater recognition.


Bonus from Teproc: Is Vertigo a meta-commentary on Hitchcock himself, in particular his relationship with his actresses?

I think that this can be said about quite a few of Hitchcock's films.
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#14

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

Is Vertigo a worthy choice for the all-time #1 spot?

Personally I don't like it but you'd be hard-pressed to find unanimous consensus on a worthy #1.

What was your reaction when Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane?

On the one hand it's good to see Citizen Kane knocked off its perch simply to freshen up the whole thing, on the other hand Vertigo has a lot of similarities with its predecessor which makes you question the entire democratic process if the same pool of voters keep picking the same films they enjoyed in their impressionable youth.

What is your experience with Vertigo, when did you first see it and has your impression of it changed over the years?

First time I saw it was 2009 back in my University days. I had reservations over the twist while simultaneously getting swept up in the deep themes and seeing Hitchcock's genius in every frame. Now in my older, cynical years the plot holes are too large for me to forgive Hitchcock's lighting and Bernard Herrman's sweeping score, I just can't suspend my disbelief anymore.

What is it that makes Vertigo so special? (If applicable to your personal views)

I think the story's powerful themes of love, obsession and coping with loss strike a chord with a lot of people, they get sucked in by the emotional pull of the story along with Hitchcock's use of colour.

Does Vertigo have any flaws?

Don't like Kim Novak's performance or Jimmy Stewart's, a couple times Hitchcock spells things out way too much when it's not necessary but I think the biggest flaws are the character motivations guided by subservience to the major themes.
Spoiler
Gavin picked the most over-elaborate scheme to murder his wife, he also found the time to cook up the Carlotta backstory, coached Judy into playing a suicidal woman and ran a shipping business all at the same time without a single hitch (no pun intended).


Will Vertigo remain on top of the Sight & Sound list or will it be unseated? If so, what films could do it and what winner would you like to see?

The last 10 years has seen an explosion in streaming and a wider variety of movies made available, in theory there could be a seismic change in the list but I think the usual favourites will remain at the top.

Bonus from Teproc: Is Vertigo a meta-commentary on Hitchcock himself, in particular his relationship with his actresses?

Boileau and Narcejac wrote the original novel and denied it was written specifically for Hitchcock (contrary to Truffaut's claims). Maybe Hitchcock saw his own treatment of actresses in there but that's getting into Freudian territory.
Spoiler
Could Vertigo in some ways be seen as a predecessor to Psycho's notorious twist in that it too changes the perceived genre and focus mid-way?

I suppose so.

Do we believe that Judy fell in love with Scotty or was it simply guilt that drow her to please him?

I think she had a weak-willed personality to become entangled with Gavin and play out the Madeline role, then to stay in the San Francisco area after what happened doesn't make a lot of sense unless being Gavin's mistress didn't pay much. Character motivation is pretty vague in the movie though so maybe I'm reading far too much into it.

What are your thoughts on Midge's part in the narrative?

Nice girls finish last.

Thought on the ending?

Hate it. Feels really forced and overdramatic to reinforce the supernatural motif that was already killed by the plot twist, all to crush Scotty's hopes again for irony which feels more like lazy writing. Also Judy was far enough from the ledge to make her fall extremely unlikely.

Bonus, courtesy of Sol: How the hell did Madeline get past the receptionist?

As Hitchcock said to Tippi Hedren during the filming of the Birds when she asked why her character walks into a room: "Because it says so in the script".
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#15

Post by Onderhond »

Don't have too much to add here, since I'm hardly a Hitchcock fan and it's been ages since I last watched Vertigo. Situating it in my all-time top, it would be around position 9.818-10.822/11.302
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#16

Post by Lakigigar »

Onderhond wrote: May 18th, 2022, 5:19 pm Don't have too much to add here, since I'm hardly a Hitchcock fan and it's been ages since I last watched Vertigo. Situating it in my all-time top, it would be around position 9.818-10.822/11.302
Not even top 10.000 :D
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#17

Post by OldAle1 »

hey I just listened to this - great podcast (as usual). Can't believe none of you have seen it all that many times, jeez. I think I'm at about 9-10 (at a guess, 3 in the cinema, 2 on VHS, 3 or 4 on DVD, and 1 on BD). More detailed thoughts:

Is Vertigo a worthy choice for the all-time #1 spot?

Sure. It's in my top 5, and I think it's the film that's been high on my favorites list for the longest time - 25-30 years. And outside of my personal feelings - it's obviously a film that continues to heavily influence a great many filmmakers and critics, and one that has an enormous catalog of subtexts that can be argued about forever. Perfect for #1 status!

What was your reaction when Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane?

Don't remember. Probably not that surprised - not thrilled or excited or anything. I suppose my feelings overall then and now are, on the one hand I suppose I like Vertigo more, personally; on the other hand, I consider Welles a greater director, and still deserving of more adulation, while I think Hitchcock has had his due.

What is your experience with Vertigo, when did you first see it and has your impression of it changed over the years?

I think I first saw it in the cinema in the 80s but cannot be certain - it's possible I saw it on commercial TV earlier but I don't think so; pretty sure I saw it another couple of times in the 80s-90s. I loved it immediately but found it very unnerving, disturbing and upsetting - emotions I still feel today with every viewing. But I don't think I loved it as much then as now; I think getting to know the work of all the principals involved - Hitch, Novak, Stewart, Herrmann - has added immeasurably to it's ongoing spell over me. And getting to know more about where it came from, and what has come from it. I don't know that there's any film that has a more interesting and worth-looking-into list of antecedents and descendants. The theme of the double, winding down from Dostoevsky and Kafka (and earlier), and finding it's greatest expression here.

What is it that makes Vertigo so special? (If applicable to your personal views)

sol gets at a lot of it in the last few minutes - the emotional reaction over the last third of the film. There is no film with two more compelling lead performances/protagonists, and we get to care about both of them deeply, and we know - after the first viewing - that it is going to end badly and it doesn't have to, and it's only their own psychological obsessions and self-made traps that put them on that tower.

Does Vertigo have any flaws?

No meaningful ones.

Will Vertigo remain on top of the Sight & Sound list or will it be unseated? If so, what films could do it and what winner would you like to see?

Well, it's my favorite of all the films in the current top 10, and it's hard for me to imagine that a new #1 will come from any lower on the list - unless, as discussed in the podcast and elsewhere, the expanding of the lists causes a MAJOR shakeup. I personally doubt that will happen. My gut feeling is that it is going to be one of the current top 4 - Vertigo, Kane, 2001 or Tokyo Story. I think 2001 is the most likely "new" #1, but I guess I'd rather see Tokyo Story simply for something that isn't English-language and that is a bit more "gentle" for a change.

Bonus from Teproc: Is Vertigo a meta-commentary on Hitchcock himself, in particular his relationship with his actresses?

Absolutely. Whether it's completely intentional or not is another matter. I also think - and Kim Novak has said this herself - that Novak's performance and role are absolutely self-reflections of her own early career in Hollywood, when she was molded into a MM knockoff instead of being allowed to be who she really was as an actress or person. She expresses this tension throughout the film - am I me, brown-haired cute-but-ordinary Marilyn Pauline Novak from Chicago, or am I glamorous blonde Kim, Hollywood star - am I Judy, am I Madeline? This performance - these performances - are the lynchpins not only of this film but of much of Hitchcock's work in this era, and a commentary on Hollywood star-making itself, and to get an otherwise good - but rarely sensational - actress, here giving not just the performance of her lifetime but IMO conceivably the greatest lead performance by any actress - this gets so much at the heart of what makes the film so special.
Join the conversation with spoilers

Could Vertigo in some ways be seen as a predecessor to Psycho's notorious twist in that it too changes the perceived genre and focus mid-way?

I kind of get what you're saying there but I don't really see it, no. That's something that's really unique to Psycho/

Do we believe that Judy fell in love with Scotty or was it simply guilt that drew her to please him?

I don't think the film gives a definitely answer, just as it gives few definitive answers to any of it's myriad questions (one of the many marks of genius here). But my own feeling is that yes, she really did love him.

What are your thoughts on Midge's part in the narrative?

You guys get at a lot of it. Midge is Scottie's normal life if he wasn't a fucked up obsessive. Midge is supposed to be close to Scottie's age (Barbara Bel Geddes was, like Novak, much younger than Stewart, but they age her a bit and I think we're supposed to feel they're both middle-aged and that they've known each other forever), and we see a lot to like in her. She's not unattractive - though obviously not a bombshell like Madeleine - she's a capable professional, smart, shrewd - but something never clicked between them. And maybe her obvious desire for him always turned him off. We really don't know; in fact, in some ways we know less about Scottie's motivations and feelings throughout the film than we do about either of the female characters - he's kind of a cypher, perhaps because he doesn't really know himself, and has never really been able to live with the person he actually is.

Thought on the ending?

I have to say that the ending - the VERY ending - took me a while to come to terms with, and I still feel like maybe those last couple of minutes could have been done just a tiny bit better, though it is devastating in any case. And I can't figure out HOW it could have worked better.

Bonus, courtesy of Sol: How the hell did Madeline get past the receptionist?

No idea. I'd have to watch it again, that's one little bit that I don't really remember.
Oh and one more thing - Chris I think says something about it not quite being noir; to me it absolutely is. I think if it were in b/w and starred Robert Ryan instead of James Stewart but was otherwise somehow exactly the same film, nobody would make that argument. Well, not nobody, but very few; I think somebody on IMDb once remarked that it takes what we think film noir is and goes a step beyond, that it creates something beyond any normal genre expectations. Or something like that. That kind of argument I've heard about innumerable works of art over the years - that something is so special that it can't be categorized. Mmm. In a sense, I agree that genre boundaries fall away with certain works, but let's face it, we all think in terms of categories most of the time, and given that film noir in particular has no set definition that everybody seems to agree on, I think Vertigo belongs as well as most films, and it is in fact the summation of what noir was, is, and probably ever can be.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#18

Post by OldAle1 »

Teproc wrote: May 15th, 2022, 10:19 am
hurluberlu wrote: May 15th, 2022, 10:13 am It has been a decade dominated by populists, tyrans and tycoons, so I would see Citizen Kane regaining points over Vertigo. Mank did give it another echo as well.
I did not think of that. It's true that Citizen Kane has been a lot more in the public consciousness (Fraud at the polls!) in that way, but I don't know if that really changes much for the kind of people who vote in S&S polls. Then again, the group of voters may be pretty different this year, so we'll see.
Kane is also Donald Trump's favorite film (according to him, and we all know how honest he is). In all seriousness, I do think that *could* motivate a few people to vote against it, although I think most voters, unlike DJT, probably understand that Kane is a cautionary, highly negative portrayal of both it's main character, and of authoritarian populists in general. So that might help it.

On the other hand Vertigo is about a much older man obsessed with a hot blonde of Eastern European extraction, so one could imagine that being a Trump fave as well.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#19

Post by St. Gloede »

OldAle1 wrote: August 21st, 2022, 10:30 pm hey I just listened to this - great podcast (as usual). Can't believe none of you have seen it all that many times, jeez. I think I'm at about 9-10 (at a guess, 3 in the cinema, 2 on VHS, 3 or 4 on DVD, and 1 on BD). More detailed thoughts.
Yet to see it at the cinema, that's one thing I'm jealous of. At least I've seen Citizen Kane on the big screen (but none of the other films in the top 10. Three times at the cinema is amazing.

Re: Ending discussion:
Join the conversation with spoilers
Thought on the ending?

I have to say that the ending - the VERY ending - took me a while to come to terms with, and I still feel like maybe those last couple of minutes could have been done just a tiny bit better, though it is devastating in any case. And I can't figure out HOW it could have worked better.
Yeah, as you heard from the podcast this is a slight issue for me as well as:
Spoiler
It feels like it is an external factor in "solving" the film's dilemma/conflict. Yes, the best way to read the film is that Judy sees believes, with her guilty conscience, that the nun is Madeline's ghost, causing the accident - and as such it is still very much tied to the character's motivations - while also looping the film. However, the nun can at worst feel like a deus ex machine (well, for the writers not the characters - was this the ending in the book?). Judy could have been scared off the roof by Scotty himself as he was walking towards her, or, more tragically she could have decided to end her own life (alternatively, Scotty could have pushed her). There were ways to end the plot, have Judy fall and leave Scotty traumatized, reliving the same outcome again without introducing this character - and with that even taking some focus away from Judy/Scotty. Add to that the fact that it is a very abrupt ending, which as discussed in the podcast, may be a plus, but feels a little odd.
Oh and one more thing - Chris I think says something about it not quite being noir; to me it absolutely is. I think if it were in b/w and starred Robert Ryan instead of James Stewart but was otherwise somehow exactly the same film, nobody would make that argument. Well, not nobody, but very few; I think somebody on IMDb once remarked that it takes what we think film noir is and goes a step beyond, that it creates something beyond any normal genre expectations. Or something like that. That kind of argument I've heard about innumerable works of art over the years - that something is so special that it can't be categorized. Mmm. In a sense, I agree that genre boundaries fall away with certain works, but let's face it, we all think in terms of categories most of the time, and given that film noir in particular has no set definition that everybody seems to agree on, I think Vertigo belongs as well as most films, and it is in fact the summation of what noir was, is, and probably ever can be.
I think what I said was that it was a twist/change that it turned out to be a noir as for the first 50 minutes or so it feels like a fantasy drama/suspense film. Vertigo is not quite unique in that (though I can't remember a film at the top of my head at the moment) but I think I also expressed a slight degree of disappointment in the twist. That's not to put down noir films, just that it was a slight letdown in the sense of losing a part of the mystery of the first half (that had been very engrossing) - luckily it was replaced by something equally engrossing and even more disturbing.

It can feel a little strange to call it a noir, though that is what it is, and to your point on Robert Ryan and b/w, I think the colour is used is one of the ways it separates itself from a lot of the noirs of the time. The colours feel essential to the film that the spiral it sends us on. I can't even imagine seeing Madeline's hair in b/w being as entrancing and I think many scenes would have lost a lot of atmosphere if shot in b/w. It may have needed to go for different, more noir-like angles, etc. to get anywhere near the same effect. That said, as the first 50 minute would likely have felt far more like a noir in B/W the change may not have felt as huge for me (be that a good or bad thing I'm not sure).
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matthewscott8
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#20

Post by matthewscott8 »

OldAle1 wrote: August 21st, 2022, 11:03 pmKane is also Donald Trump's favorite film (according to him, and we all know how honest he is). In all seriousness, I do think that *could* motivate a few people to vote against it, although I think most voters, unlike DJT, probably understand that Kane is a cautionary, highly negative portrayal of both it's main character, and of authoritarian populists in general. So that might help it.
I have generally seen Kane as a tragedy, Kane is reflective about who he could have been if his childhood hadn't been stolen from him and if money hadn't isolated him. Surely Trump couldn't have missed that, he was sent to military school and his parents were crazy and crazy rich. I would say there's a good chance he appreciates the movie on its merits. To me it actually speaks of the movie's qualities that it resonates so much with someone in a Kane-ian position. Maybe Trump is insane enough to watch the movie and see himself as having escaped Kane's trap. Kane fails in the gubernatorial race, but Trump becomes President. There is some irony that the reason for Kane's failure, an affair, is no longer seen as a valid objection to a candidate, if so Trump's... proclivities... would have seen him become a close to perfect analogue to Kane.

Recently I watched The Desert of the Tartars and I felt it spoke to me of my own tragedy, adoring films that pwn you makes some sort of sense.
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