Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mystery #1 - Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo is a lot different than I expected it to be. It's an Alfred Hitchcock movie, with Jimmy Stewart's and Kim Novak. Jimmy Stewart plays the retired detective John Ferguson, whose nickname is Scottie, for some reason. He's retired because he suffers from severe acrophobia and vertigo. One of Scottie's old buddies comes to him and hires him to trail his wife, Kim Novak, named Madeline (Or is she?), whom he thinks is possessed. So Scottie does. And Madeline wonders around the city, and it appears that she's possessed by one of her relatives who committed suicide. And then Madeline committed suicide. And then it gets weird. That there is only half the movie.

Vertigo is really fantastic. It's one of those movie that you sort of have to watch twice, and I wish I had, but I already sealed the Netflix envelope. Alas. The mood of Vertigo is really strong. It's a very creepy and very disturbing movie. I look back on this movie and the main impression I have of it is very unsettling and disquieting. I look back on it, and I just feel sort of gross. The whole movie just adds up to exactly what it should be. I just love it. I think I'm really a fan of Alfred Hitchcock movies.

Vertigo is famous for two things: The dream sequence, and the camera effect. The dream sequence is really terrific. It's stylized enough that it doesn't look that dated yet, and it's really creepy, and it really feels like a nightmare. The camera effect is an effect designed to convey the sensation of vertigo. It's this very unsettling effect where they move the camera toward the view, but zoom out. The frame stays the same, but the perspective changes. It works really well. Even though that's not what vertigo looks like, it's definitely exactly what it feels like, which is awesome.

Vertigo is definitely the best mystery, which is awesome. I liked it a lot and I want to watch it again. I'm definitely looking forward to when I get to watch another Alfred Hitchcock movie.

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