Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Mar 18 2002

I saw Hitchcock’s Vertigo last night for the first…

I saw Hitchcock’s Vertigo last night for the first time. No, I had never seen what many deem to be Hitchcock’s greatest film before. And you know what? I am a philistine, because I honestly didn’t like it. The portrayal of San Francisco was nice, the music and pacing suitable, but the story was -you film buffs out there will screech in horror when you read this- badly told. Most of the movie was ok in this respect; we understand that Jimmy Stewart is madly in love with Kim Novak’s eyebrows. But after he goes mad, the movie falls apart. If I were watching it in a theater I would have felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there, that the movie had stumbled down an awkward gorge. We lose Stewart’s character altogether, he changes into a grade-A asshole, and then Novak inexplicably jumps out of the bell tower at the sight of a nun. Ok. And this…means something, but I’m not sure what. Critics panned the movie when it first came out, but then it wasn’t available for 30 years and became a classic. What does that tell you?

Filmmaking and audiences have both changed irrevocably in the intervening years, so even the best directors of today would have a hard time emulating Hitchcock’s style, and would probably fail. Were he still alive and making movies, I seriously doubt the man himself would be making that kind of movie any longer. I thought other Hitchcock films, however, were much better than Vertigo, movies like Rear Window and The Man Who Knew Too Much. I was expecting a lot from this film and at first it seemed to be delivering, but the moment Jimmy Stewart’s head came rushing out of the giant spinning lollipop, looking for all the world like a Dee-light album cover from 1987, I knew I couldn’t take the film seriously any longer.

At Graham’s party last weekend, I was talking with a guy who had seen “The Trick” at the Urban Nomad Film Festival and thought it pointless and silly. I happen to agree, but it was another thing to hear someone else tell me to my (admittedly inebriated) face. He didn’t know it was my film, of course, or else he probably wouldn’t have been so honest. No matter. I don’t plan to show it anymore. I will show “The End” and maybe “Coolishness” if pressed, but not “The Trick.” Look for a revision of my film page coming up, as all the links are down at present. They’re all student films anyway, and I need to get started soon filming my next project, hopefully something I can spend more time and effort on, something perhaps to submit to bigger festivals.

posted by Poagao at 8:44 am  

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