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Vertigo film image

Vertigo

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Reviled by many in 1958 – “Another Hitchcock-and-bull story,” complained TimeVertigo was named the Greatest Film Ever Made in the 2012 Sight & Sound poll, and only dropped one place this time around. (Citizen Kane came in #3.)

Dream-like and deceptive, this is a movie you have to watch at least twice, once from the man’s point of view, and once from the woman’s. But no matter how aware you are of the revelation to come, there’s no escaping the supernatural aura which envelopes the first fateful hour as Scotty (James Stewart) is hired to follow the beautiful Madeleine (Kim Novak), who believes herself to be (a) reincarnated and (b) doomed to an early grave. In a way, she’s right on both counts.

A sick romance (as thrillers often are), Vertigo becomes more profoundly pessimistic the better you know it. Scotty is doomed to repeat his mistakes. Love cannot prevail over death – in this film, the two are practically inseparable. Like the vertiginous zoom shot he devised, Hitch was repelled by what attracted him, and vice versa. Thus Vertigo becomes a film about the male neurosis, fetishism and power; a film about Alfred Hitchcock.

Sunday’s screening in our PANTHEON series will feature free refreshments and a short introduction by William Brown, Assistant Professor of Film, University of British Columbia.

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Cast

James Stewart, Kim Novak

Credits
Country of Origin

USA

Year

1957

Language

English

Awards

Sight & Sound: Greatest Film of All Time Poll Runner Up

19+
128 min

Book Tickets

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Credits

Producer

Alfred Hitchcock

Screenwriter

Alec Coppel, Samuel Taylor

Cinematography

Robert Burks

Editor

George Tomasini

Original Music

Bernard Herrmann

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The consummate director of the silent era, Murnau was schooled in German Expressionism and embraced the fluidity and dynamism of the moving camera. Invited to Hollywood he prefigured film noir with this tale of a married villager seduced by a city vamp.

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Pather Panchali

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The Night of the Hunter

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The Battle of Algiers

French Colonel Mathieu hunts for Algerian resistance leader Ali la Pointe in Pontecorvo's classic, which draws the battle lines between colonialists and Arab insurrectionists in a pulsating, "fly-on-the-wall" documentary style.

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Playtime

Jacques Tati was modernity's clown; technology his banana skin. Here his alter-ego Monsieur Hulot navigates a sterile Paris that seems designed to thwart his every wish.

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