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Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - World War II
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism)
1945
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism)
Watch: Video Essay – How Italian Neorealism Brought the Grit of the Streets to the Big Screen
https://youtu.be/v_uLv6Wt2io 5:20
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism)
“Roma Citta Aperta” (“Rome, Open City”) (1945)
Watch: roma citta aperta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3_6NSdqWgs2:00
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism)
1948
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism)
“The Bicycle Thieves” (1948)
Watch: bicycle thief critics’ pick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njLcOqW7xV0
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War British Films (Kitchen Sink Realism)
OPTONAL VIEWINGS
“Room at the Top”
http://youtu.be/C_vtOqEFFQM
“Look Back in Anger”
http://youtu.be/wKk5gzEhphY
“Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”
http://youtu.be/OHsOSySZOyo
“Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”
http://youtu.be/4asUxvijYQ8
1959
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave)
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave)
WATCH: Breaking The Rules – The French New Wave
https://youtu.be/0R7R0JHvvgo
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave)
WATCH: The Rules in Editing French and American New Wave
https://youtu.be/UTeOhlva3k0
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave)
OPTIONAL VIEWING: Video Essay: How the French New Wave Changed Cinema
https://youtu.be/Ez_ARK60epw
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave)
OPTIONAL VIEWING: The Influence of the French New Wave
https://youtu.be/f9X4p74jHoo
Vertigo - Preamble
American Cinema of the 1950’s
Realism, Melodrama and Genre
Vertigo - Preamble
American Cinema of the 1950’s
Competition with Television
Wide Screen
Stereophonic Sound
3-D
Vertigo - Preamble
American Cinema of the 1950’s
Melodrama – A dramatic work that exaggerates plot and
characters in order to appeal to emotions.
“In a well-written drama, the story comes out of the
characters. The characters in a well-written melodrama
come out of the story.” Sidney Lumet (2007)
Scotty Doesn't Know
“Vertigo”
Study Guide
EMC 3000
Edward Bowen
“Vertigo” (1958)
Paramount Pictures
Produced and Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor
From a story by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejax
Cinematography by Robert Burks
Edited by George Tomasini
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Title Sequence and Poster Design by Saul Bass
Location – Partially filmed in San Francisco, California
Starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel
Geddes
Background
In 1955, four years before the beginning of the French New Wave,
American audiences were startled and scandalized by the
violence and the psychological/sexual complexity of a French
import. The movie was “Les Diabolique,” directed by Henri-
Georges Clouzot from a novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas
Narcejac.
Background
WATCH:: https://youtu.be/BzbGtjtfZwA (2:50)
Background
Renowned Director Alfred Hitchcock was impressed both by the
film’s audacious content and its box office success, and it
probably influenced both “Vertigo” and “Psycho” (1960).
Background
Legend has it that Clouzot snatched the rights to the novel away
from Hitchcock, and that the authors penned the novel "D'Entre
Les Morts” specifically for Hitchcock. This is probably apocryphal,
but Hitchcock did purchase the rights to "D'Entre Les Morts,” and
it became the basis for “Vertigo.”
Background
The film makes extensive use of San Francisco as a location.
Hitchcock had wanted to set a film in the city for many years, and
“Vertigo” seemed perfectly suited to the hilly city.
WATCH: https://youtu.be/FcbeM0pBaqA (5:56)
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots – To place us in the mind of the main
character, Hitchcock liberally uses a technique that was a
hallmark of his style – the point-of-view shot. Simply put, we see
someone look at something, then see how it looks to them, or
through their eyes. How does this technique create sympathy,
empathy, and identification?
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots – The extensive point-of-view shots also tend
to limit the viewer’s experience of the world to what the
protagonist sees and knows.
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots
WATCH: Vertigo Museum Scene https://youtu.be/EQVMUmx9syc
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots – One of Hitchcock’s previous films, “Rear
Window,” released in 1954, could be viewed as an exercise in
point-of-view. In it the protagonist, as in “Vertigo” played by
James Stewart, is a wheelchair bound photographer who watches
his courtyard neighbors and becomes suspicious that he may
have witnessed the aftermath of a murder. The camera never
leaves Stewart’s apartment, mirroring his own confined state.
Side note: In the less
than four years
between “Rear
Window” and “Vertigo,”
Hitchcock directed four
features and supervised
his own anthology
television show,
directing one episode
as well.
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots – “Rear Window,” (1954)
WATCH: Rear Window - Peeping Tom- Hitchcock style (ft. James Stewart)
https://youtu.be/jIppIUtJPEM
Technical Dimension
The Kuleshov Effect – Hitchcock spoke extensively about the
power of editing. Here he recreates an experiment first
performed by Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov in the 1920s,
showing how the meaning of one shot can be changed depending
on the shot that precedes it or follows it.
Technical Dimension
The Kuleshov Effect – Hitchcock spoke extensively about the
power of editing. He was especially interested in how the linkage
of two shots forces an association between the images and often
has a narrative or emotional impact that neither shot
communicates on its own.
WATCH: Hitchcock Demonstrates Montage https://youtu.be/ruoPT9JeYHA
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots – Perhaps the most important POV shot in
“Vertigo” is seen in the clip below. Scotty’s acrophobic view of
the tower staircase shows us not just what he sees, but how he
feels about what he sees.
WATCH: Dolly Zoom Effect (Vertigo 1958) https://youtu.be/G7YJkBcRWB8
Technical Dimension
Point-of-View Shots – This effect, invented by Hitchcock for
“Vertigo,” is referred to as the ‘Vertigo Effect’ or the ‘Dolly-
Zoom.’ . It is also featured in the opening scene when Scotty is
hanging from the rooftop gutter. It was dependent on the
invention and perfection of a piece of technology that feature
fiction filmmakers seldom used up until this point in film history.
Technical Dimension
The Dolly-Zoom – In order to understand how the dolly-zoom
works, we need to know the different types of lenses and their
effects, understand what a zoom lens is. And know what a dolly
is.
Technical Dimension
Lenses – Lenses can be divided into three approximate categories –
normal lenses, wide angle lenses, and telephoto lenses.
Telephoto
Normal
Wide Angle
Dolly-Zoom
Normal lens – A lens that creates an image similar to way
we normally see the world with little or no distortion.
Dolly-Zoom
Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper
focus, and exaggerated depth.
Dolly-Zoom
Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper
focus, and exaggerated depth; wider lenses bend space.
.
Dolly-Zoom
Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper
focus, and exaggerated depth; wider lenses bend space.
Fish eye lens – Extreme wide angle.
Dolly-Zoom
Wide Angle Lenses – Movement toward and away from
the camera, or past the camera, is exaggerated.
“Seconds” John Frankenheimer (1966)
WATCH: Seconds (1966) - Opening Scene at the Train Station (HD)
https://youtu.be/sl9Dzr_La5k
Dolly-Zoom
Wide Angle Lenses – Movement toward and away from the
camera, or past the camera, is exaggerated.
“The Shining” Stanley Kubrick (1980)
WATCH: The Shining twins scene – Wide Angle Lens https://youtu.be/qr0SjfvBAnk
Dolly-Zoom
Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper
focus, and exaggerated depth, bend space. “Fear and
Loathing in Las Vegas” Terry Gilliam (1998)
WATCH: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (9/10) Movie CLIP - Dr. Bumquist's Drug Lecture
(1998) HD http://youtu.be/ObbLapUaZd4
Dolly-Zoom
Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of
view, shallow focus, and compressed depth
Dolly-Zoom
Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of
view, shallow focus, and compressed depth
Dolly-Zoom
Graduate-end-scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9eIXN6Sp40
Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view,
shallow focus, and compressed depth. Movement toward and
away from the camera is flattened. “The Graduate” (1967) Mike
Nichols
Dolly-Zoom
Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view,
shallow focus, and compressed depth. Movement toward and
away from the camera is flattened. ”The Right Stuff” (1983)
Philip Kaufman
WATCH: The Right Stuff Theatrical Trailer http://youtu.be/Ak1n6qQS3_A
Dolly-Zoom
Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view,
shallow focus, and compressed depth. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
(2011) Tomas Alfredson
WATCH: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Airfield http://youtu.be/Ouqe85vvTsw
Technical Dimension
The Zoom Lens – The Zoomar, or zoom, lens was invented for
35mm film production in 1932. The lens allowed for a smooth
transition from a wider field of view to a more magnified image,
or visa versa. Or in other words, from a wide angle lens (zoomed
out) to a telephoto lens (zoomed in). Prior to this invention, all
lenses had a fixed and unchangeable field of view, or focal length.
Technical Dimension
The Zoom Lens –The introduction of television production in the
late 1940s lead to an expanded use of zoom lenses for that
medium.
Technical Dimension
The Dolly – Filmmakers however avoided the use of zooms in
feature films until the rise of independent production in the late
1960s. They tended to feel that the magnification of the zoom
lens felt artificial as the process of zooming in flattened the depth
of an image. They preferred to actually move the camera through
space for more dynamic image. The most common way to do this
was on a “dolly,” a wheeled platform.
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot. Camera moves forward or
backwards or to the side. Usually on wheels; often on track.
Dolly- Zoom
The Dolly – For a one-to-one comparison of a dolly to a zoom, we
should focus on dolly moves that bring us through space toward a
character or subject or away from a character of subject.
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot can move us into a closer
connection with a character. With a dolly move the way the
lens recreates space does not change. “Casablanca” (1942)
Michael Curtiz
Watch https://youtu.be/AyAElLEvGmY
http://mtmedia.mtsu.edu:8888/ebowen/Casablanca Dolly 1.mov
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot can add drama and suggest
importance. With a dolly move the way the lens recreates
space does not change. “Stagecoach” (1939) John Ford
Watch: http://youtu.be/7Pu9V85Njg8
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot can add drama and suggest
importance. It can bring something to our closer attention.
With a dolly move the way the lens recreates space does not
change. “The Searchers” (1956) John Ford
Watch: https://youtu.be/dVpGG_NatAA
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically,
without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to
telephoto or visa versa. “As The World Turns” (2010)
Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn2IiRyD70Q
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically,
without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to
telephoto or visa versa. “Barry Lyndon” (1975) Stanley
Kubrick
Watch: http://youtu.be/aHCwzsFEJyw
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically,
without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to
telephoto or visa versa. “Barry Lyndon” (1975) Stanley
Kubrick
Watch: http://youtu.be/0QtmFGv67kw
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically,
without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to
telephoto or visa versa. “The Shining” (1980) Stanley Kubrick
Watch: https://youtu.be/f_go1X3DmB0
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom out – Notice the compression of space and the shallow
focus at the beginning of the shot (telephoto lens) and the
exaggeration of depth and the deep focus at the end of the
shot (wide lens)
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom out – Notice the compression of space and the shallow
focus at the beginning of the shot (telephoto lens) and the
exaggeration of depth and the deep focus at the end of the
shot (wide lens)
Dolly-Zoom
Zoom out – Notice the exaggeration of depth and the deep
focus at the beginning of the shot (wide lens) and the
compression of space and the shallow focus at the end of the
shot (telephoto lens.)
Dolly-Zoom
In a dolly shot, the lens characteristics (depth of focus,
depth compression or exaggeration, etc.) remain the
same. In a zoom, these characteristics change.
Dolly-Zoom
Optional Viewing: Barry Lyndon - The Use of the Zoom Shot.mp4
https://youtu.be/maz9KP76VvI
Technical Dimension
Hitchcock saw the disorienting possibility of dollying and zooming
counter moves to make distances seem to stretch away or
backgrounds to crush inward. He had first thought of the effect
for his film adaptation of “Rebecca” in 1940, but the technology
was insufficient to the task.
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly-Zoom (Vertigo shot): Dollying and Zooming the lens at the
same time.
Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPBYOIetRdw
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly-Zoom (Vertigo Shot): Dollying and Zooming the lens at the
same time.
Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vm54QL8iZc
Technical Dimension
In “Vertigo,” Hitchcock was able to accomplish the effect, but only
on miniatures placed horizontally on their sides. The technique
became known as the “Vertigo Effect” or the “Dolly-Zoom.” What
is the effect of this technique? What makes it appropriate to the
content of “Vertigo?”
Dolly-Zoom
Lenses
WIDE
Exaggerated Depth
TELEPHOTO
Crushed Depth
Dolly-Zoom
Optional Viewing: The Evolution of the Zoom Dolly
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly/Zoom: Dollying and Zooming the lens at the same time.
“La Haine” (1995) Mathieu Kassovitz
Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv41W6iyyGs
Dolly-Zoom
Dolly/Zoom (Vertigo Shot): Dollying and Zooming the lens at the
same time. “Jaws” (1975) Steven Spielberg
Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svEPWBxpYjo
Dolly-Zoom
Lenses
WIDE
Exaggerated Depth
TELEPHOTO
Crushed Depth
Dolly-Zoom
Lenses
WIDE
Exaggerated Depth
TELEPHOTO
Crushed Depth
Dolly-Zoom
Lenses
WIDE
Exaggerated Depth
TELEPHOTO
Crushed Depth
Dolly-Zoom
Lenses
WIDE
Exaggerated Depth
TELEPHOTO
Crushed Depth
Technical Dimension
Soft Focus – Hitchcock makes use of traditional glamour effects, but places
them in discomforting contexts. Look for the use of soft focus on actress Kim
Novak. Does the effect have a different impact in the second half of the film
than the first?
Technical Dimension
Soft Focus – Look for the use of soft focus in the cemetery scene. What is the
intended effect?
WATCH: Vertigo https://youtu.be/bDwPJ5IaJ2g
Technical Dimension
Circular Dolly – Hitchcock also employs a circular dolly to romantic effect, but
again with a twist. What is the impact of the circular dolly and the way in
which it reveals the surroundings?
WATCH: https://youtu.be/fKxBqm4muEw
Technical Dimension
Dream Sequence – What techniques does Hitchcock use to recreate Scotty’s
nightmare? How are these appropriate to the story?
https://youtu.be/4WAxDlUOw-w
Technical Dimension
Hitchcock uses bright and vibrant colors to emotional and narrative effect. Can you
identify when certain colors are used, and what characters or situation they may be
associated with?
Technical Dimension
The Title Sequence for “Vertigo” was created by graphic designer Saul Bass. Bass also
created title sequences for “North by Northwest” and “Psycho.” He would later create
title sequences for “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” How does the title sequence contribute
to the mood and narrative?
The Dramatic Dimension
"Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets girl again, boy loses girl again"
Alfred Hitchcock (describing the plot of “Vertigo”)
The Dramatic Dimension
Narrative Privilege – Narrative privilege refers to the privilege of knowledge.
What do we as the viewer know? What do the characters know? Do we know
more that the characters? Do the characters know more than us? “Vertigo” has
an almost unique structure, divided in half by the death of Madeline. Narrative
privilege, or point of view, shifts from the first to the second half. How does this
happen? Why? To what effect?
The Dramatic Dimension
Aristotle tells us that prime elements of a complex drama are recognition and
reversal. The tragic hero may receive some revelation or recognition
(anagnorisis) about the events surrounding him and the impact of fate, destiny
and the will of the gods on the hero. A reversal (peripeteia) occurs when the
events turn in a different direction then expected, what we might now call a
twist. Apply these concepts to “Vertigo.”
The Dramatic Dimension
http://www.ohio.edu/people/hartleyg/ref/aristotletragedy.html
https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/studying-aristotles-poetics-part-11-reversal-
recognition-and-suffering-c51f2293693a
From Aritotle’s “Poetics”
a) "reversal" (peripeteia): occurs when a situation seems to developing in one
direction, then suddenly "reverses" to another. For example, when Oedipus first hears
of the death of Polybus (his supposed father), the news at first seems good, but then is
revealed to be disastrous.
b) "recognition" (anagnorisis or "knowing again" or "knowing back" or "knowing
throughout" ): a change from ignorance to awareness of a bond of love or hate. For
example, Oedipus kills his father in ignorance and then learns of his true relationship
to the King of Thebes.
Recognition scenes in tragedy are of some horrible event or secret, while those in
comedy usually reunite long-lost relatives or friends. A plot with tragic reversals and
recognitions best arouses pity and fear.
c) "suffering" (pathos): Also translated as "a calamity," the third element of plot is "a
destructive or painful act." The English words "sympathy," "empathy," and "apathy"
(literally, absence of suffering) all stem from this Greek word.
The Dramatic Dimension
How does Scotty’s manipulation of Judy’s “image” mirror that of the relationship
of a director to his star?
The Dramatic Dimension
In the novel, the reader does not find out about Judy’s part in Madeline’s death
until Scotty figures it out. The studio and the writer wanted to keep it this way. It
was Hitchcock who insisted that this be revealed to the audience early in the
second half. Why would he insist on this? What effect does it have on the
viewer’s experience of the story thereafter?
The Auteur Dimension
Alfred Hitchcock had directed over fifty films when he came to make “Vertigo,”
among them “The 39 Steps,” “The Lady Vanishes,” “Rebecca,” “Shadow of a
Doubt,” “Notorious,” “Strangers on a Train” and “Rear Window.” Yet to come
were “North by Northwest,” “Psycho” and “The Birds.” “Vertigo” would be
Hitchcock’s personal favorite. Among the common characteristics and recurring
motifs in Hitchcock’s films that appear in “Vertigo” are
• The Hitchcock Blonde, cool and poised on the outside, passionate within
• Imaginative, complex and innovative camerawork
• The use of familiar settings
• Voyeurism
• Disguise and mistaken identity
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema
http://youtu.be/UtSAivIJrZs (1:50)
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema
(2:53)
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema
http://youtu.be/UtSAivIJrZs (1:30)
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema
http://youtu.be/-TyP5Xo5W40 (1:18)
Vertigo - Preamble
Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema
http://youtu.be/-TyP5Xo5W40 (2:00)
The Socio-Historic Dimension
The Genre Dimension
In some ways, “Vertigo” fits into a genre of overblown, exaggerated, even stylized
romantic dramas of the 1950s, and can be seen, in its operatic approach to
romance, exaggerated colors, and melodramatic emotions and acting, as a reaction
to them. These films are epitomized by the work of Director Douglas Sirk and such
films as
ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (1955) (http://www.criterion.com/films/635-all-that-
heaven-allows), MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954)
(http://www.criterion.com/films/973-magnificent-obsession), WRITTEN ON THE
WIND (1956) (http://www.criterion.com/films/636-written-on-the-wind), and
INTERLUDE (1957) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrEoh7mcpbM).
The Genre Dimension
The operatic tendencies of “Vertigo” are reflected in its score, which Bernard
Herrmann based on Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.”
The Genre Dimension
For a summary of operatic style, see this Warner Brothers cartoon - WHAT’S OPERA
DOC (http://fan.tcm.com/_34What39s-Opera-Doc34-
1957/video/1640123/66470.html) and WHAT’S OPERA DOC VERTIGOED
(http://vimeo.com/35357553).
Additional Resources:
Interview: Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut (Aug/1962) – Part 21 “Vertigo”
http://www.hitchcockwiki.com/wiki/Interview:_Alfred_Hitchcock_and_Francois_Tuffau
t_(Aug/1962)
Roger Ebert on “Vertigo”
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961013/REVIEWS08/40
1010371/1023
Art of the Title http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/vertigo/
Film Locations for “Vertigo” http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/v/vertigo_1.html
Five Plot Point Breakdowns
http://thescriptlab.com/screenplay/five-plot-point-breakdowns/1180-vertigo-1958
The Film Spectrum http://thefilmspectrum.com/?p=6832
A Bright Wall in a Dark Room
http://brightwalldarkroom.com/post/34362095208/sight-sound-list-1-vertigo-1958
Additional Resources:
Finding Equilibrium in Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” http://youtu.be/wpzbe_mnGJM
“Vertigo” Color Symbolism http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/pages/stills-
vertigo/colors.html
Hitchcock, “Vertigo” and the Uncanny
http://www.alfredhitchcockgeek.com/2010/05/hitchcock-vertigo-and-uncanny.html
Hitchcock's Vertigo The collapse of a rescue phantasy
http://www.psychoanalysis.org.uk/epff3/berman.htm
The Obsession with the Past in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo
http://waysofseeing.org/vertigo.html
Faith No More – “Last Cup of Sorrow” https://vimeo.com/37349314
“Vertigo” http://hitchcock.tv/essays/vertigoessay.html
Last Laugh - Was Hitchcock's Masterpiece Vertigo a Private Joke?
http://brightlightsfilm.com/18/18_vertigo.php
Additional Resources:
Vertigo (Hollywood My Hometown
http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/107609/Vertigo-Hollywood-My-Hometown-A-
TCM-featurette-.html
John Badham on “Diabolique
http://www.trailersfromhell.com/trailers/710
13 French Films That Challenge The New Wave Myth
http://bestfilmsofourlives.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/13-french-films-that-
challenge-the-new-wave-myth/
Diabolique --- (Movie Clip) Michel Delasalle
http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/274449/Diabolique-Movie-Clip-Michel-
Delasalle.html
Three Reasons: Diabolique
http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1811-three-reasons-diabolique

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Vertigo study guide

  • 1. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - World War II
  • 2. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism) 1945
  • 3. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism) Watch: Video Essay – How Italian Neorealism Brought the Grit of the Streets to the Big Screen https://youtu.be/v_uLv6Wt2io 5:20
  • 4. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism) “Roma Citta Aperta” (“Rome, Open City”) (1945) Watch: roma citta aperta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3_6NSdqWgs2:00
  • 5. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism) 1948
  • 6. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War Italian Films (Neorealism) “The Bicycle Thieves” (1948) Watch: bicycle thief critics’ pick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njLcOqW7xV0
  • 7. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War British Films (Kitchen Sink Realism) OPTONAL VIEWINGS “Room at the Top” http://youtu.be/C_vtOqEFFQM “Look Back in Anger” http://youtu.be/wKk5gzEhphY “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” http://youtu.be/OHsOSySZOyo “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” http://youtu.be/4asUxvijYQ8 1959
  • 8. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave)
  • 9. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave) WATCH: Breaking The Rules – The French New Wave https://youtu.be/0R7R0JHvvgo
  • 10. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave) WATCH: The Rules in Editing French and American New Wave https://youtu.be/UTeOhlva3k0
  • 11. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave) OPTIONAL VIEWING: Video Essay: How the French New Wave Changed Cinema https://youtu.be/Ez_ARK60epw
  • 12. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe - Post War French Films (The New Wave) OPTIONAL VIEWING: The Influence of the French New Wave https://youtu.be/f9X4p74jHoo
  • 13. Vertigo - Preamble American Cinema of the 1950’s Realism, Melodrama and Genre
  • 14. Vertigo - Preamble American Cinema of the 1950’s Competition with Television Wide Screen Stereophonic Sound 3-D
  • 15. Vertigo - Preamble American Cinema of the 1950’s Melodrama – A dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to emotions. “In a well-written drama, the story comes out of the characters. The characters in a well-written melodrama come out of the story.” Sidney Lumet (2007)
  • 18. “Vertigo” (1958) Paramount Pictures Produced and Directed by Alfred Hitchcock Screenplay by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor From a story by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejax Cinematography by Robert Burks Edited by George Tomasini Music by Bernard Herrmann Title Sequence and Poster Design by Saul Bass Location – Partially filmed in San Francisco, California Starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
  • 19. Background In 1955, four years before the beginning of the French New Wave, American audiences were startled and scandalized by the violence and the psychological/sexual complexity of a French import. The movie was “Les Diabolique,” directed by Henri- Georges Clouzot from a novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
  • 21. Background Renowned Director Alfred Hitchcock was impressed both by the film’s audacious content and its box office success, and it probably influenced both “Vertigo” and “Psycho” (1960).
  • 22. Background Legend has it that Clouzot snatched the rights to the novel away from Hitchcock, and that the authors penned the novel "D'Entre Les Morts” specifically for Hitchcock. This is probably apocryphal, but Hitchcock did purchase the rights to "D'Entre Les Morts,” and it became the basis for “Vertigo.”
  • 23. Background The film makes extensive use of San Francisco as a location. Hitchcock had wanted to set a film in the city for many years, and “Vertigo” seemed perfectly suited to the hilly city. WATCH: https://youtu.be/FcbeM0pBaqA (5:56)
  • 24. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots – To place us in the mind of the main character, Hitchcock liberally uses a technique that was a hallmark of his style – the point-of-view shot. Simply put, we see someone look at something, then see how it looks to them, or through their eyes. How does this technique create sympathy, empathy, and identification?
  • 25. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots – The extensive point-of-view shots also tend to limit the viewer’s experience of the world to what the protagonist sees and knows.
  • 26. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots WATCH: Vertigo Museum Scene https://youtu.be/EQVMUmx9syc
  • 27. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots – One of Hitchcock’s previous films, “Rear Window,” released in 1954, could be viewed as an exercise in point-of-view. In it the protagonist, as in “Vertigo” played by James Stewart, is a wheelchair bound photographer who watches his courtyard neighbors and becomes suspicious that he may have witnessed the aftermath of a murder. The camera never leaves Stewart’s apartment, mirroring his own confined state. Side note: In the less than four years between “Rear Window” and “Vertigo,” Hitchcock directed four features and supervised his own anthology television show, directing one episode as well.
  • 28. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots – “Rear Window,” (1954) WATCH: Rear Window - Peeping Tom- Hitchcock style (ft. James Stewart) https://youtu.be/jIppIUtJPEM
  • 29. Technical Dimension The Kuleshov Effect – Hitchcock spoke extensively about the power of editing. Here he recreates an experiment first performed by Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov in the 1920s, showing how the meaning of one shot can be changed depending on the shot that precedes it or follows it.
  • 30. Technical Dimension The Kuleshov Effect – Hitchcock spoke extensively about the power of editing. He was especially interested in how the linkage of two shots forces an association between the images and often has a narrative or emotional impact that neither shot communicates on its own. WATCH: Hitchcock Demonstrates Montage https://youtu.be/ruoPT9JeYHA
  • 31. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots – Perhaps the most important POV shot in “Vertigo” is seen in the clip below. Scotty’s acrophobic view of the tower staircase shows us not just what he sees, but how he feels about what he sees. WATCH: Dolly Zoom Effect (Vertigo 1958) https://youtu.be/G7YJkBcRWB8
  • 32. Technical Dimension Point-of-View Shots – This effect, invented by Hitchcock for “Vertigo,” is referred to as the ‘Vertigo Effect’ or the ‘Dolly- Zoom.’ . It is also featured in the opening scene when Scotty is hanging from the rooftop gutter. It was dependent on the invention and perfection of a piece of technology that feature fiction filmmakers seldom used up until this point in film history.
  • 33. Technical Dimension The Dolly-Zoom – In order to understand how the dolly-zoom works, we need to know the different types of lenses and their effects, understand what a zoom lens is. And know what a dolly is.
  • 34. Technical Dimension Lenses – Lenses can be divided into three approximate categories – normal lenses, wide angle lenses, and telephoto lenses. Telephoto Normal Wide Angle
  • 35. Dolly-Zoom Normal lens – A lens that creates an image similar to way we normally see the world with little or no distortion.
  • 36. Dolly-Zoom Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper focus, and exaggerated depth.
  • 37. Dolly-Zoom Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper focus, and exaggerated depth; wider lenses bend space. .
  • 38. Dolly-Zoom Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper focus, and exaggerated depth; wider lenses bend space. Fish eye lens – Extreme wide angle.
  • 39. Dolly-Zoom Wide Angle Lenses – Movement toward and away from the camera, or past the camera, is exaggerated. “Seconds” John Frankenheimer (1966) WATCH: Seconds (1966) - Opening Scene at the Train Station (HD) https://youtu.be/sl9Dzr_La5k
  • 40. Dolly-Zoom Wide Angle Lenses – Movement toward and away from the camera, or past the camera, is exaggerated. “The Shining” Stanley Kubrick (1980) WATCH: The Shining twins scene – Wide Angle Lens https://youtu.be/qr0SjfvBAnk
  • 41. Dolly-Zoom Wide Angle Lenses – Provide a wider field of view, deeper focus, and exaggerated depth, bend space. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” Terry Gilliam (1998) WATCH: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (9/10) Movie CLIP - Dr. Bumquist's Drug Lecture (1998) HD http://youtu.be/ObbLapUaZd4
  • 42. Dolly-Zoom Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view, shallow focus, and compressed depth
  • 43. Dolly-Zoom Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view, shallow focus, and compressed depth
  • 44. Dolly-Zoom Graduate-end-scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9eIXN6Sp40 Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view, shallow focus, and compressed depth. Movement toward and away from the camera is flattened. “The Graduate” (1967) Mike Nichols
  • 45. Dolly-Zoom Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view, shallow focus, and compressed depth. Movement toward and away from the camera is flattened. ”The Right Stuff” (1983) Philip Kaufman WATCH: The Right Stuff Theatrical Trailer http://youtu.be/Ak1n6qQS3_A
  • 46. Dolly-Zoom Telephoto Lenses – Provide a narrower, magnified field of view, shallow focus, and compressed depth. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (2011) Tomas Alfredson WATCH: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Airfield http://youtu.be/Ouqe85vvTsw
  • 47. Technical Dimension The Zoom Lens – The Zoomar, or zoom, lens was invented for 35mm film production in 1932. The lens allowed for a smooth transition from a wider field of view to a more magnified image, or visa versa. Or in other words, from a wide angle lens (zoomed out) to a telephoto lens (zoomed in). Prior to this invention, all lenses had a fixed and unchangeable field of view, or focal length.
  • 48. Technical Dimension The Zoom Lens –The introduction of television production in the late 1940s lead to an expanded use of zoom lenses for that medium.
  • 49. Technical Dimension The Dolly – Filmmakers however avoided the use of zooms in feature films until the rise of independent production in the late 1960s. They tended to feel that the magnification of the zoom lens felt artificial as the process of zooming in flattened the depth of an image. They preferred to actually move the camera through space for more dynamic image. The most common way to do this was on a “dolly,” a wheeled platform.
  • 50. Dolly-Zoom Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot. Camera moves forward or backwards or to the side. Usually on wheels; often on track.
  • 51. Dolly- Zoom The Dolly – For a one-to-one comparison of a dolly to a zoom, we should focus on dolly moves that bring us through space toward a character or subject or away from a character of subject.
  • 52. Dolly-Zoom Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot can move us into a closer connection with a character. With a dolly move the way the lens recreates space does not change. “Casablanca” (1942) Michael Curtiz Watch https://youtu.be/AyAElLEvGmY http://mtmedia.mtsu.edu:8888/ebowen/Casablanca Dolly 1.mov
  • 53. Dolly-Zoom Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot can add drama and suggest importance. With a dolly move the way the lens recreates space does not change. “Stagecoach” (1939) John Ford Watch: http://youtu.be/7Pu9V85Njg8
  • 54. Dolly-Zoom Dolly (Traveling of Tracking) shot can add drama and suggest importance. It can bring something to our closer attention. With a dolly move the way the lens recreates space does not change. “The Searchers” (1956) John Ford Watch: https://youtu.be/dVpGG_NatAA
  • 55. Dolly-Zoom Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically, without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to telephoto or visa versa. “As The World Turns” (2010) Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn2IiRyD70Q
  • 56. Dolly-Zoom Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically, without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to telephoto or visa versa. “Barry Lyndon” (1975) Stanley Kubrick Watch: http://youtu.be/aHCwzsFEJyw
  • 57. Dolly-Zoom Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically, without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to telephoto or visa versa. “Barry Lyndon” (1975) Stanley Kubrick Watch: http://youtu.be/0QtmFGv67kw
  • 58. Dolly-Zoom Zoom – Magnification or reduction of an image optically, without moving the camera. Adjusting from wide to telephoto or visa versa. “The Shining” (1980) Stanley Kubrick Watch: https://youtu.be/f_go1X3DmB0
  • 59. Dolly-Zoom Zoom out – Notice the compression of space and the shallow focus at the beginning of the shot (telephoto lens) and the exaggeration of depth and the deep focus at the end of the shot (wide lens)
  • 60. Dolly-Zoom Zoom out – Notice the compression of space and the shallow focus at the beginning of the shot (telephoto lens) and the exaggeration of depth and the deep focus at the end of the shot (wide lens)
  • 61. Dolly-Zoom Zoom out – Notice the exaggeration of depth and the deep focus at the beginning of the shot (wide lens) and the compression of space and the shallow focus at the end of the shot (telephoto lens.)
  • 62. Dolly-Zoom In a dolly shot, the lens characteristics (depth of focus, depth compression or exaggeration, etc.) remain the same. In a zoom, these characteristics change.
  • 63. Dolly-Zoom Optional Viewing: Barry Lyndon - The Use of the Zoom Shot.mp4 https://youtu.be/maz9KP76VvI
  • 64. Technical Dimension Hitchcock saw the disorienting possibility of dollying and zooming counter moves to make distances seem to stretch away or backgrounds to crush inward. He had first thought of the effect for his film adaptation of “Rebecca” in 1940, but the technology was insufficient to the task.
  • 65. Dolly-Zoom Dolly-Zoom (Vertigo shot): Dollying and Zooming the lens at the same time. Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPBYOIetRdw
  • 66. Dolly-Zoom Dolly-Zoom (Vertigo Shot): Dollying and Zooming the lens at the same time. Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vm54QL8iZc
  • 67. Technical Dimension In “Vertigo,” Hitchcock was able to accomplish the effect, but only on miniatures placed horizontally on their sides. The technique became known as the “Vertigo Effect” or the “Dolly-Zoom.” What is the effect of this technique? What makes it appropriate to the content of “Vertigo?”
  • 69. Dolly-Zoom Optional Viewing: The Evolution of the Zoom Dolly
  • 70. Dolly-Zoom Dolly/Zoom: Dollying and Zooming the lens at the same time. “La Haine” (1995) Mathieu Kassovitz Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv41W6iyyGs
  • 71. Dolly-Zoom Dolly/Zoom (Vertigo Shot): Dollying and Zooming the lens at the same time. “Jaws” (1975) Steven Spielberg Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svEPWBxpYjo
  • 76. Technical Dimension Soft Focus – Hitchcock makes use of traditional glamour effects, but places them in discomforting contexts. Look for the use of soft focus on actress Kim Novak. Does the effect have a different impact in the second half of the film than the first?
  • 77. Technical Dimension Soft Focus – Look for the use of soft focus in the cemetery scene. What is the intended effect? WATCH: Vertigo https://youtu.be/bDwPJ5IaJ2g
  • 78. Technical Dimension Circular Dolly – Hitchcock also employs a circular dolly to romantic effect, but again with a twist. What is the impact of the circular dolly and the way in which it reveals the surroundings? WATCH: https://youtu.be/fKxBqm4muEw
  • 79. Technical Dimension Dream Sequence – What techniques does Hitchcock use to recreate Scotty’s nightmare? How are these appropriate to the story? https://youtu.be/4WAxDlUOw-w
  • 80. Technical Dimension Hitchcock uses bright and vibrant colors to emotional and narrative effect. Can you identify when certain colors are used, and what characters or situation they may be associated with?
  • 81. Technical Dimension The Title Sequence for “Vertigo” was created by graphic designer Saul Bass. Bass also created title sequences for “North by Northwest” and “Psycho.” He would later create title sequences for “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” How does the title sequence contribute to the mood and narrative?
  • 82. The Dramatic Dimension "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets girl again, boy loses girl again" Alfred Hitchcock (describing the plot of “Vertigo”)
  • 83. The Dramatic Dimension Narrative Privilege – Narrative privilege refers to the privilege of knowledge. What do we as the viewer know? What do the characters know? Do we know more that the characters? Do the characters know more than us? “Vertigo” has an almost unique structure, divided in half by the death of Madeline. Narrative privilege, or point of view, shifts from the first to the second half. How does this happen? Why? To what effect?
  • 84. The Dramatic Dimension Aristotle tells us that prime elements of a complex drama are recognition and reversal. The tragic hero may receive some revelation or recognition (anagnorisis) about the events surrounding him and the impact of fate, destiny and the will of the gods on the hero. A reversal (peripeteia) occurs when the events turn in a different direction then expected, what we might now call a twist. Apply these concepts to “Vertigo.”
  • 85. The Dramatic Dimension http://www.ohio.edu/people/hartleyg/ref/aristotletragedy.html https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/studying-aristotles-poetics-part-11-reversal- recognition-and-suffering-c51f2293693a From Aritotle’s “Poetics” a) "reversal" (peripeteia): occurs when a situation seems to developing in one direction, then suddenly "reverses" to another. For example, when Oedipus first hears of the death of Polybus (his supposed father), the news at first seems good, but then is revealed to be disastrous. b) "recognition" (anagnorisis or "knowing again" or "knowing back" or "knowing throughout" ): a change from ignorance to awareness of a bond of love or hate. For example, Oedipus kills his father in ignorance and then learns of his true relationship to the King of Thebes. Recognition scenes in tragedy are of some horrible event or secret, while those in comedy usually reunite long-lost relatives or friends. A plot with tragic reversals and recognitions best arouses pity and fear. c) "suffering" (pathos): Also translated as "a calamity," the third element of plot is "a destructive or painful act." The English words "sympathy," "empathy," and "apathy" (literally, absence of suffering) all stem from this Greek word.
  • 86. The Dramatic Dimension How does Scotty’s manipulation of Judy’s “image” mirror that of the relationship of a director to his star?
  • 87. The Dramatic Dimension In the novel, the reader does not find out about Judy’s part in Madeline’s death until Scotty figures it out. The studio and the writer wanted to keep it this way. It was Hitchcock who insisted that this be revealed to the audience early in the second half. Why would he insist on this? What effect does it have on the viewer’s experience of the story thereafter?
  • 88. The Auteur Dimension Alfred Hitchcock had directed over fifty films when he came to make “Vertigo,” among them “The 39 Steps,” “The Lady Vanishes,” “Rebecca,” “Shadow of a Doubt,” “Notorious,” “Strangers on a Train” and “Rear Window.” Yet to come were “North by Northwest,” “Psycho” and “The Birds.” “Vertigo” would be Hitchcock’s personal favorite. Among the common characteristics and recurring motifs in Hitchcock’s films that appear in “Vertigo” are • The Hitchcock Blonde, cool and poised on the outside, passionate within • Imaginative, complex and innovative camerawork • The use of familiar settings • Voyeurism • Disguise and mistaken identity
  • 89. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema http://youtu.be/UtSAivIJrZs (1:50)
  • 90. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema (2:53)
  • 91. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema http://youtu.be/UtSAivIJrZs (1:30)
  • 92. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema http://youtu.be/-TyP5Xo5W40 (1:18)
  • 93. Vertigo - Preamble Cinema Europe – Alfred Hitchcock and British Silent Cinema http://youtu.be/-TyP5Xo5W40 (2:00)
  • 95. The Genre Dimension In some ways, “Vertigo” fits into a genre of overblown, exaggerated, even stylized romantic dramas of the 1950s, and can be seen, in its operatic approach to romance, exaggerated colors, and melodramatic emotions and acting, as a reaction to them. These films are epitomized by the work of Director Douglas Sirk and such films as ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (1955) (http://www.criterion.com/films/635-all-that- heaven-allows), MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954) (http://www.criterion.com/films/973-magnificent-obsession), WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956) (http://www.criterion.com/films/636-written-on-the-wind), and INTERLUDE (1957) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrEoh7mcpbM).
  • 96. The Genre Dimension The operatic tendencies of “Vertigo” are reflected in its score, which Bernard Herrmann based on Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.”
  • 97. The Genre Dimension For a summary of operatic style, see this Warner Brothers cartoon - WHAT’S OPERA DOC (http://fan.tcm.com/_34What39s-Opera-Doc34- 1957/video/1640123/66470.html) and WHAT’S OPERA DOC VERTIGOED (http://vimeo.com/35357553).
  • 98. Additional Resources: Interview: Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut (Aug/1962) – Part 21 “Vertigo” http://www.hitchcockwiki.com/wiki/Interview:_Alfred_Hitchcock_and_Francois_Tuffau t_(Aug/1962) Roger Ebert on “Vertigo” http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961013/REVIEWS08/40 1010371/1023 Art of the Title http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/vertigo/ Film Locations for “Vertigo” http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/v/vertigo_1.html Five Plot Point Breakdowns http://thescriptlab.com/screenplay/five-plot-point-breakdowns/1180-vertigo-1958 The Film Spectrum http://thefilmspectrum.com/?p=6832 A Bright Wall in a Dark Room http://brightwalldarkroom.com/post/34362095208/sight-sound-list-1-vertigo-1958
  • 99. Additional Resources: Finding Equilibrium in Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” http://youtu.be/wpzbe_mnGJM “Vertigo” Color Symbolism http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/pages/stills- vertigo/colors.html Hitchcock, “Vertigo” and the Uncanny http://www.alfredhitchcockgeek.com/2010/05/hitchcock-vertigo-and-uncanny.html Hitchcock's Vertigo The collapse of a rescue phantasy http://www.psychoanalysis.org.uk/epff3/berman.htm The Obsession with the Past in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo http://waysofseeing.org/vertigo.html Faith No More – “Last Cup of Sorrow” https://vimeo.com/37349314 “Vertigo” http://hitchcock.tv/essays/vertigoessay.html Last Laugh - Was Hitchcock's Masterpiece Vertigo a Private Joke? http://brightlightsfilm.com/18/18_vertigo.php
  • 100. Additional Resources: Vertigo (Hollywood My Hometown http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/107609/Vertigo-Hollywood-My-Hometown-A- TCM-featurette-.html John Badham on “Diabolique http://www.trailersfromhell.com/trailers/710 13 French Films That Challenge The New Wave Myth http://bestfilmsofourlives.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/13-french-films-that- challenge-the-new-wave-myth/ Diabolique --- (Movie Clip) Michel Delasalle http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/274449/Diabolique-Movie-Clip-Michel- Delasalle.html Three Reasons: Diabolique http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1811-three-reasons-diabolique