May’s Lucky 13 Film Club Topic

It’s time to announce the Lucky 13 Film Club topic for May. Help me welcome Mainer movie buff, Eric Binford, found at DIARY OF A MOVIE MANIAC, as we co-host a discussion on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. 

1958 psychological thriller
1958 psychological thriller

The challenge of discussing Vertigo is what to talk about that hasn’t already been said in the last fifty-eight years since its release. Eric and I exchanged thoughts, deciding on what we will focus, and your different opinions are most welcome on May 13.

Eric said, “Vertigo constantly alludes to religion, specifically Catholicism. Also, Hitchcock’s brutal critique of the shortcomings of idealization interests me a great deal. Idealism tends to have positive connotations. It’s often used to describe a person’s high morals. In Vertigo, interestingly, Hitchcock suggests that the opposite is true.”

I’ll be discussing how color imagery and music functions in the film. Additionally, Scottie is a metaphor for Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock the director is the manipulator of women. He was in love and obsessed with his image while the real woman meant little to him.

We hope you will visit us on May 13. Until then, pledge to watch Vertigo again with fresh eyes. What? You’ve never seen it? Great! Now’s the time to fix this blind spot and join the fun.  

29 thoughts on “May’s Lucky 13 Film Club Topic

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        1. Just read it. They say public speaking is the #1 phobia, but fear of heights is on my list, too. I’m trying to conquer it. It’s next to the precipice where I’d claw your eyes out to get away from the edge. How do people hang-glide? Mindboggling.

  1. I will be there on the 13th, Cindy. having just suffered from real vertigo for weeks on end, I have a personal stake in this one!
    Also, as someone who is not a fan of much of Hitchcock’s work, I may also provide a dissenting voice…
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. By the way, the film should really be called ‘Acrophobia’, which is a fear of heights. Vertigo is only one of the symptoms of that, and has many other causes. Note to Hitchcock…

    2. As long as you are polite, disagree all you want! Maybe if you revisited it now, you might discover an appreciation for it. Just for the record, ‘Vertigo’ is not my favorite Hitchcock and it took multiple viewings for me to appreciate it. It’s the music that is tortuous.

      1. I like to think that I am always polite, Cindy, as I am sure you know. The sets are just too ‘stagey’ for me, in the main. I will leave the rest until the 13th…

      2. Cindy, I watched it over a dozen times before i could even bear it. The horrible, interminable process shots of james stewart pretending to drive a car while the hilly streets of san francisco were rear-projected….thats what drove me up the wall. but im going to try to provide at least one pleasant insight on the 13th

        1. I would appreciate that. Why not focus on a character? Surely the shots of stairwell in the church cancel out the aggravating car/hill rear-projection? I’d love to know your thoughts on the theme of sin and the Catholic Church. Kim Novak is the femme fatale here!

    3. Pete, I dont care for this movie either. Probably the most over-rated of all the Hitchcock’s. but ill watch it again and try to find something worth saying that wont spoil anybody;s lunch.

      1. Hi Bill. Hitchcock’s films evoke love and hate and lukewarm responses, don’t they? Vertigo is not my favorite Hitchcock film, but I do love the interesting elements found therein. I think it’s one of Stewart’s more passionate roles. I think there’s a lot to talk about and I look forward to what you will contribute on the 13th.

  2. VERTIGO has always been a favorite of mine. Hitchcock is also a favorite. And, (I will try and be very polite, Cindy.), Bernard Herrmann’s scores of movies, think PYSCHO, and TV, like Twilight Zone always add so much to my getting into the movie or TV show. Albeit, it is the opposite end of the spectrum than a Mancini score.
    And Kim Novak’s ‘wooden’ style of acting works very good in this movie. It’s my favorite Novak full length movie. My favorite Novak scene though is her walking down the stairs in PICNIC.
    I hate to admit it, having been a ‘tough paratrooper’, but I am afraid of heights, always have been. VERTIGO came out during the time I was jumping out of planes. We would fly around for a long time before we jumped, and I whiled away the time taking a nap. And I had a recurrent dream of scene in the movie where Scotty develops  acrophobia, the use of the dolly zoom for the first time in a movie. Always woke up, in the plane, in a cold sweat that lasted until I jumped and looked up and saw that wonderful parachute opened above me. Now when I rewatch the movie and that zoom shot goes down, I find myself looking up to see if my chute had opened.

    1. Don, what a fantastic memory/nightmare!? I’m glad you like it the best of all his films and look forward to your input (more of it!) on the 13th. Yes, the dolly was invented in this film and that’s a discussion in and of itself. As far as afraid of heights go, I can’t believe you were a paratrooper. I seriously don’t know how I would control the panic. A couple of years ago, I stood by the Grand Canyon and nearly fainted. 😉

      1. I know what you mean about the Grand Canyon. No way would I go out on that piece of glass that extends over the canyon. As far as being a paratrooper, I was young and foolish. lst week in jump school, they separate the men from the boys. 2nd week they separate the sane from the fools. 3rd week, the fools jump. I got to confess though, it was fun and we got paid an extra $55 a month for doing it.

  3. Ok now I definitely have to see this! Been wanting to check out Vertigo for ages, can’t believe I still haven’t. Well now I definitely have the motivation to finally get on that 🙂

      1. I just asked my colleague to borrow his dvd. Ok will definitely watch for that. Hitchcock often has some interesting music, I like the one in Spellbound too.

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