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Episode 51 · 1 month ago

Is Vertigo Really the Greatest Film of All-Time?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It has been 10 years since Vertigo unseated Citizen Kane as the Greatest Films of All Time in Sight & Sounds once-in-a-decade poll of filmmakers, critics and academics. With the 2022 edition coming up, and the real possibility that Vertigo could be unseated, we ask the pressing question: Does Vertigo actually deserve to be number 1?

Note: Since recording this episode it has been revealed that the Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All-Time list will be revealed in their November issue, so we still have quite a few months of anticipation.

You are listening to talking images, the official podcast of ICM Forumcom. Well, hello everyone, I'm Chris, and in this episode we will discussing a film that has a fairy, legitimate claim to the title of greatest film of All time. It has been ten years since Vertigo unseated citizen cane insight and sounds incredibly respected. Once in a decade poll of filmmakers, critics and academics. That also means we're about to see the Paul Return, and vertical couldn't be unseated. So, in the little window we have left, let's discuss whether or not vertical deserves to be on the top and how a film that was largely dismissed with mixed reviews on release ended up climbing to the very top of the cinematic cannon. Was it simply ahead of its time? Oh, and why was it even dismissed in the first place? Leaned back, as we talk everything vertigo, we'll get to the bottom of that elusive x factor that makes it so powerful by pinning down exactly what this that spell binds, hypnotize, says and even unnerves us, and of course, will sink artied into that ending. But don't spoiler fulbs. If you somehow have nothing yet seen vertical, they will be a clear spoiler warning before we get into that third act that changes just so much. So let's kick off the discussion here and bringing my two absolutely wonderful cohlts, mature and soul, and let's just first get a very quick temperature check. Care if vertical a wordy choice for best film of All Time? Well, I guess I think it is because it's in my personal top ten. So I guess it's as final choice as any. I don't think anything deserves the unfair burden of being called the greatest famerl time, but if one of them has to be, I guess not to go is fine with me. What about your thought? So, in answer the question, is Vertico the greatest film of All Time? I'll have to say probably. I'm not sure. It is hard to really pimpoint one exactly, but look, vertigo is it also like mature? It's in my all time top ten. And Look, there are films that I placed abovement just for USTHETIC creations. Otherwise I do prefer a couple of films, but I guess I've a main objective about it. Yeah, probably is the best film ever made. Now that's quite a temperature check there. So top ten and possibly the best film of all time for both of you. That's amazing. For I part, I will say that I was really happy back in a two thousand and twelve when we were to go and see the sits in game and at the time where to go was probably in my top twenty five or so, and it's film that's very special to me. But I wouldn't necessarily call it the best film of all time and it has dropped a little bit in my estimation since then. It's still a fantastic film. Obviously it's spellbinding, it's wonderful, but I do think that many of the other top choices could have been better. So with me being the closest to a hate there and it would be an interesting discussion. But I know we all we watched Vertigo a few times and talking about it just before the episode I know you saw. I've seen it seven times, which is incredible. So maybe before we get into just what it means to us today, maybe we can talk a little bit about our history with where Togo when we first saw it and what is meant in our cinematic journeys. So yes, I have seen...

Vertigo seven times. It waste, as far as I can work out. I did work it out when I did my moistration review for the film and letter box. I would have first seen the film, I guess, around twenty years ago when I was first getting in the cinema and my mom was introduced many hitch shop films at the time. I don't think it was my favorite hitchhot film. I think I preferred rear window, maybe north by, northwest, I'm not really sure, as death like high up there by a few years later I was calling in a one of my favorite films. I think it was actually even at one point it was my number one favorite film of all time. But you know, my first ten years of being a sinophile or whatever, my number one, you know, just changed so often. It's really really be in the last ten years or so that I've actually had, you know, one solid ors five favorite even that's changed twice over that ten year period. So yeah, it's a film seeing quite a few times. I saw a lot during my first few years getting into movies just because it was a great one to always go back to. It was a great one to always discuss with people on the IMDB message boards and they still existed. Yeah, but I've only actually seen it once in the last ten years, which I worked out again when I reviewed on a letter box. So even though I hadn't seen a long time, it was just great going back and revisiting it, just like re visiting an old friend. Yeah, so for me, because I'm a more recent ine failed than you guys, it's easy for me to track how many times I've seen them, the films, and when I first saw them, because it's often letterbox. So I guess I first saw it in January, two thousand and sixteen, Right, and I've seen it three times. And at a time I saw it because I don't know if you you guys know, but probably some other listeners know, the podcast film spotting. They do Mathns, whether I focused on specific areas, and so they did a hitchcock one and so she does part of that. And the first time I watched it, what I did love it like so it was that my favorite hitchcock and like sold of my favorite hitchcock was here window, I guess, and I probably had psycho ahead of Vertigo as well. And then I we watched it just, I think, a year later as such in theaters, and that's where it trually became my favorite hitchcock and, I think, his most personal film and Yes, a film that I guess I saw it relatively early in my being a Cini fire, and so I guess it was influentially that way. But yeah, it's just a thing I love. I don't know that I hold it particular g I maybe because it's a fit. That is so we veered right, obviously the number one spot on the side and sound, and it doesn't feel very personal to love it. That's but I don't know, it's yeah, that that's an interesting here. Take my do if in your top ten of all time, but you don't feel, if that personal to love it. I guess that that's goes back to that burden. You talked about the burden of being the greatest film of all time, at least officially. By that sounds lift. Yeah, and it's definitely not meant as a I love the film, clearly, but I guess I don't think of it as a film that specific to me because it's not just very, very here distically. Yeah, I probably say the same thing. You know, I don't really see it as a personal favorite because the film that you know, everybody loves it. Even before top the silence Sam Polem in your first would have seen it, you know, two thousand two, thousand two, round about that time, and that time citizen Kime was on top of the silence sound pole. So yeah, look, it's always been a film's been massive. They love so ever felt like that personal favorite by you know, as carent or time number five. But even so it's still doesn't feel as personal to me as something and I like slaa sort video drome of funny Alexander, I guess, because a less common autime favorite choices. But still, obviously do you like where you go a lot? Well't you, cause well, on my part, the vertical was probably one of the first big classics I saw when I got into cinema. I think I probably caught it on TV the first time and then I started buying the hitchcock box sets and hitchcock was just enormous for me when I got into cinema. I mean I remembered going through essentially everything that was available on dvd in those days and just catching everything and I don't recall which...

...was my favorite hitchcock when I first started out. I don't think it was vertical. verticals probably two or three early on, but on my when I rewatched it the first time, it quickly started going up that list because it was that hitchcock that was different. Like all of the hitchcock films, they play around with wood, they do a lot of really amazing things cinematically with tension, etc. But vertical always had that very unique atmospherey weren't necessarily sure what you were watching. It had is more magical atmosphere. Obviously some of that is undertailed played round, but it felt very different from most of the other hitchcock films out there and it felt more creative or free, and those we might get into this a little bit later as well. Where not the hitchcock film can even be considered, quote unquote, weird, but it's certainly one of the more unusual hitchcock films and that really drew me in with it. It is that mystery, though it quickly climbed its way up into, you know, my all time top favorites. Lately it's dropped a little bit from my recent re word especially it took a slight plunge, mainly because of some issues. Had always been there but I valued less. I'll get into that a bit later. But yeah, Vertigo has been a film that's twins are reversed the most. I don't three what films as much as salt, so I'm only up to four, but for me that's really highs. It's probably among the ten films I really watched the most in my life, at least as an adults. So vertical is want those films that has definitely been there. It might sinnepatic life more than almost any other film and it's yeah, it's great, it's wonderful and I would really love the impact just why it is so wonderful. And we can probably start with you again, so all, since you're the one who loves it the most in your top five, and you're the one also seen it the most. So what do you think it is that makes ver to go so special? First off, I just want to say that else. Quite amused to hear you say that you know you're finding a vertigo out of films on DVD. I guess because I saw before DVD is really became a big thing. So I think I've actually seen vertigoing more often and vahs than on any other medium, or probably seeing it five times in Vhs, once on DVD and just once reasonably on blue right, which is quite interesting. So I guess I'm my memories of it are mainly up, you know, seeing and stand definition that, even though I've got it on blue right now, I've also still got my va chased tad tape in there. There was one of my prize possessions first getting into cinema, being collected to see. Now I've got minor great VHS one there, which I think I got for about ten dollars or whatever, which was in no boding back in the day of brand new and yeah, I haven't been able to part with it. So I guess what makes it really great for me is not so much the first viewing of it, but it's a it's the reviewing of it which I think really like to solidifies it for me, because the film does have some twists and turns and, as with the very best films out there, the twists and turns I'm just there for the sake of it, but they actually enhance narrative and the film gets so much complex when you're re watching it knowing what is to come, and I don't know how much I can reveal at this stage to without giving too much of it away. But yeah, there's a few things going on that we are don't get aware of it to about halfway through and you're really when you really watch the film, knowing everybody's motivations and what's really going on it comes you're incredibly chilling to watch. And what's really great is that it's also a film that's not just a what the one character. It's not just about Scottie, and we'll get into that little bit later on, but it's also equally about madeline line and then it's equally about them together. So it actually works really...

...well, may guess as a Romantic film, not big int romance films, but just the whole obstructure is an excellent but probably maybe one thing that really gets about Burtigo is, of course the end, and it probably has, you know, the number one most wating ending, a horse fire, which hope will get to a little bit later on. I think for me what part of what makes Vertigo special is I generally love hitchcock and it is such an outlier for me in in Hitchcock filmography, because hitchcock is, you know, primarily an entertainer, makes swellos and he's a this very playful director who has this very unique way of relating to his audience and I think Vertigo is by far his most personal film. But I haven't seen everything, but that that's what it feels like to me. It's definitely an outlier and maybe you guys, you've probably seen more hitchcoll than I are, but I've seen my fair share and I think it's probably his only film with a male protagonist that is so focused on his state of mind. Right because generally, I thought films that haven't made protagonist, they are all about the wrongfully accused Rights Anio, which is kind of what always happened in hitchcock films. And interestingly, Vertigo would offer they I guess, one fully accused scenario, but he doesn't really go there. Instead it's more like his films with like Indian Bergman. Right now it's about this main character who can to detail reality and fiction apart and whose psychological state is the whole point of the film. And so I think, because there are some obvious links between James Stewart and hitchcock artist, that his character, that it is. It comes off as his most personal fim. And finally, I would say the thing that makes it stand out the most for me is Bernard Herman's score. He's made other great scores, of course, including for Hitchhock, but I think vertigo is is his masterpiece and it's him that it's exact, even though I know this is not true. It feels like the film was made to fit the score, and it's obviously the reverse in reality, but it is such a perfect match to me. That's what makes Vertigo special, but not one among many things, but it's the number one, I guess. I would say. I think that's really well put me too, and the music is doubtedly a large part of what makes it source spell binding for me. I think it's partially visual, at the way they visual place in with what we talked about the terms of the emotional states and the psychological state and this idea. I didn't don't exactly know what's going on. You have this witching mental states and the realities for our lead character as he's trying to figure all this out, and then you also had this degree of obsession which can be felt so strongly and again visually you have these kind of not sure if I could call them top laws, but for instance that moment when Kim No wa is seen for the first time. It's just absolutely stunning and you have this focus on her here which is absolutely hypnolic and it really plays as you into got the this mind. You see his obsession grow. And to your point on how the score really works with the film and on the point was being different. And it's not not just that it leans more on the psychological state of Scotty. It's also how many quiet moments there are there. We still managed to feelly with a sense of wonder or suspense or just come thing that really grabs you. I think I read recently Martin Scorsese's assessment of why he loved the films. Emerson needs said this because even those scenes where game stewart is just following him Novak in the car and it's watching her did is this really quiet moments there's just him looking and the music, and I to Scorsesey, those are some of the best moments in all of the film, even though it's something so simple and quiet, and I think that is part of the mystery or the magic of Vertigo is that it has this, just like you said, Matthew, this focus on Dame Stewart's mental state, his sense of reality, his obsession growing...

...and it it's really is spelled by nick. It's hypnotic and with that score, with simple looks, it all just comes together and it draws you in and it makes the film feel like something just so entirely different from almost anything else hitchcock ever did. Yeah, I definitely agree this. Cross it. By the way, I think those scenes of Scotty first, following Maddin, industriets of San Francisco, I think there are some of the best scenes in the film and it differently. Agree with you on the quate moments. Obviously that's goes with em forsating the score, but generally I think hitchcock dialog is not what he prefers to find. I mean that's like that's where he's most exciting as a director, is in the way he uses his camera. And Yeah, those quiet scenes, the that you the score and in a prominent way, I think the the strongest part of the film's even though the performances I great. But yeah, I think actually the performances are best when they're silence, which is sounds like a criticism, but it's not. It's just how the film works. Yeah, and say that's a very true about hitchcock. And one of the things I did notice when I was rewatching vertigo just recently was that there were very large belts of silence which, yeah, which is just the other shots of him following by the line around. Some of them do have then on Herman scoring, but some of it is just silence, just looking and, you know, staring at a wonder at or hissting. And then that's what some of the hitchhops, most you know, memorable scenes are really about Marni. The scene that stands out, almost going from money, is the one where she still was the money out of the safe, which is like this very long takee can't remember. I think it might be unbroken. It's just completely in silence, as you know, wondering if she's going to get caught or not. And even if you think about things like psycho, there isn't a lot of, you know, actual dialog in there, but you have Mari and driving along in the car and she's hearing the voices in her head, but there's actually silentce otherwise. So I think silence and not talking is, yeah, definitely where hitchhop drive, even in one of his worst films. I'm thinking of to catch this thief. You've got the whole idea. There's the same we've got the two characters approaching each other and then we see all these cutaways to fire works in the background, which is sort of like queuing and queuing us into the romantic feelings between the characters. So yeah, it's something which definitely hit shop thrives on doing things without actually I want to have the characters talking. Yeah, that's absolutely true, and I have, when you were talking, of also thinking about one of his other lesser films, the Tool Path, where there is that absolutely magnifice and the murder which ties in with always always said should murdering things as love things and love. Thence that's murderer scenes and that scene it's just absolutely incredible. Not to spoil anything from to bust, but yeah, hitchcock is absolutely phenomenal when he's foot things without dialog, and the dream sequence is obviously a standout as well, and the way it chooses, the way the Herman score works. They are of course, as also love the way he uses this very simple effect of just, you know, the follow tints on the screen. What whether screen tuns read or it's blue at the very start. It's sure lof I effects that it's so simple and we need the whole dream sequence in some ways. I think if you watch it without being watching the we without having washed the thin before what you would just watch it out of context, it looks at ridiculous, but in context it's worth because of the music, because of the mood, and I think that's that's real touch right. It's got did that in other films. Of course there's the touch go at a name of the thin. Now that the one with the Dali and then condom on. But yeah, he didn't dive into kind of surreal things like that. That's much and it's one of those other things that makes Vertigo special. That Jim sequence is great. So something which I wanted tea's out with you guys, is there are some dissenters or Vertigo, I guess,...

...as you'd expect for any film which is declared the number one. And more time they've got people coming out with all these reasons to justify white or the best film ever made, one of the common ones that gets thrown around is the role of Midge in the narrative, because she's kind of a bit of an odd one in the first half of the film. The first out of the film was all from Scottie's perspective except for the scenes that have got midge in it. So some people that I've heard said, you know, it's not really great because we're actually breaking away from Scottie's perspective. I actually don't mind the midge scenes and I like them actually a little bit more this time around, because I found what Midge was doing, by going and trailing Scottie around him, spying on him when he was with Madeline, was actually very similar to me to what Scotty was doing, first off, by trailing madeline in the first place. So for me, I guess the character of madge to like builds up. This is culture that hit shock is trying to establish, where we have this society where everybody looks at each other and spies and each other from a distance. So for me she's a very interesting hard and narrative. I don't know if I can quite hippoint exactly all which has gone there, but as just runnering what the thoughts are from the two of you about me and whether you think she really fits in with the she really stands a little bit in a narrative that's mostly from Scottish perspective. I guess. I guess I can see how Midge is a bit of a she stands out in the film definitely, but the reason she stands out is because the film's all about that relationship, that kind of toxic relationship between Jim Stewart and Kim Novak and everyone else is kind of beside the point and maybe the point of her character is that she's beside the points. Right. I think she's a bit of an audience to a get right, because at the start of the film Jim Stewart is all audience so gets but as he grows more spell bound, literally by by the happenings of the film, I think she becomes a bit of an anchor for the audience and also someone to believe tension at some points. But I think the film also has a lot of compassion for her, right because she's obviously being elected by by this man she seems to be in love with some degree at least. I think it's interesting, I guess, and see how she's she stands out, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I think the role of Midge works really well and I think the fact that I think it actually works a little bit in a way that Hitchcock lies to play distraction when you verse as well, because earlier on you have this idea that okay, he's just trailing Kim know about for her husband and this is his job. Then you have this out their potential romantic interest and you don't necessarily know where all of this will go. So in part of the in the early part of the film, it's a way of not necessarily going right away. He'll fall in love with the Kim noduct. Obviously that becomes clear it quite quickly. And there's also this low triangle dynamic there too, and you do, like you say, you have a lot of sympathy and empathy for me to see her trying to show her affection for Scottie, and she does try to let this. There's some there's this failed part there. She, for instance, pains herself almost as if she was madeline, or in the same style that got is thinking of Madeline, and you have this clash and it's very tragicken shows the obsession in Scottish character and it works really well. So I do think that it did. Dynamics are there, they work and they show how he becomes infatuated with Madeline. It makes it clearer that he has this old potential relationship that he is neglecting. And just aside from that, to do thing that early on, you also get a very good dynamic between Gottian Midge like. They actually have really good chemistry. There's a lot of fun dial like between them. So it's very...

...easy to be dragged into the movie because she's there from the beginning. She's there in essentially the very first scene after the opening, and this is where we learn all about Scott the and this is, like you said, our anchor a bit. So I think she's sort of so many different functions and obviously after something's happens and she kind of gives up on Scott the as well. That's that is a turning point in the film. So I think she has quite a lot of different functions in it and I think it would be a very, very different film without her. I'm not sure if it would actually work as well, but that obviously would remain to Besi I do like what you've mentioned about the painting, because I think that's actually one of the most interesting things about Midge, is that she paints herself like Madeline or like the painting that madeline was obsessed with, because her dressing herself up to be like the painting reminds me so much of how Scotty dresses up Judy in the second half of the film. So just like a midge following Scotty as around is like Scotty follows madeline around. We've got, you know, Scotty dressing somebody up to be like who want her to be, just like midges try to project herself in the way that she wants to be, which again, I think just you know, was paid to seriously picture of society where we can't, you know, how proper relationships, where there's all this underhand stuff and play and where everybody is just trailing each other from a distance or try to project different ideals onto each other. Yeah, I guess, Midge. I have this interpretation of Vertigo as being a bit of a Meta texture film where Hitchcock, where Jim Stewart, is both the hitchcocks tending in that know, he becomes obsessed with a woman and made makes her up right, completely, the way hitchcock did with his actresses, and also he invents this narrative for her. Well, the NATO is said to him. So he's kind of BOOT and hitchcocks tending and an audience standing right, because in a way he is more enamored with the fictional story done with the real. Well, in a way he's completely more enamored with the fictional one than the real one, and I think in that way he's kind of like US watching the film right, just like we are and tranced by the film. He is enterenced by maddening and guess it's interesting to to think of where Midge fits fits into that. I don't know if he feeds super neatly that. You're right, the way she makes herself up, it's kind of like someone who wants to be in the movie, but can't you do tarkenically she is. So that's a really fun the way of putting it there. But they's like you said, she is definitely an important part. But so we mentioned that this is one of the main things that attractors are pinpointing and, like you said, also this is regarded as the great room of all times. We will always be the tractors and even among people who love the film, you will look for more mistakes. They will look for more things you have an issue with. Small negative things will stand up a little bit more just because of it reputations. So let's think of it into some of the potential issues with verticors of the negatives. Artist some things with vertical that does not work that well for you. I guess the main one for me would be something that it's been there since the first time I watched it start. The relationship in the second part between between the characters. It feels a little onesided. I don't fully buy that Kim Novac character is in love with Scotty and she because it's but we watching it. To me her actions it feels more like she is overwhelmed by guilt and petty. Maybe I don't really die that she's in love and I think the film does want you to believe that. So in general I could see how people might struggle to to see Kim novaks character as more than a creation, which in some ways it's the point of the film. But the second part is meant to be a more real version of her, and I guess I can see how the film doesn't quite manage it. I...

...don't mind it. I think it works because the film has this fantasy aspect by this getting lost in the fantasy, but in some sense right it's it's even a very much from Jim Stewart perspective and because of that you can kind of lose some side of that character. Just only our subject of the relationship having too quickly. I might read from an email that I just had with a friend or on ever so or discuss him a film and you know he's one of those who are like this is a four and a half start, not a five stuff film, and this is the reason why. So just what I've written there, because he was talking about the relationship and I said, you know, I would agree that she falls in love with Scotty perhaps a little too quickly, but I don't know, it's a very pivotal part of her character, wanting to be loved for who she is. Judy, not Madeline, upon re encountering Scotty and how vulnerable she must have been the first place to actually be talked into Gavin scheme. Perhaps of the character came off as a cynic. It would be hard to believe a falling love so quickly, but as a vulnerable young woman I would easily believe that she was in love. Whether it happens or quickly to quickly not, I don't know. It's a sort of criticism which I feel is quite minor in terms of the actual scope of the film and everything that it's about. That's very sing put sold and had slight problems with that as well in terms of just how in love she would be in how far she would go. I definitely think live more on the guilt angler as well, but for me it was not an issue in a way. In fact, my biggest problem with the field, and what always has been my biggest problem with the film, is actually the first five minutes or so. First party sets up the vertical and then just the very o worked exposition of Vertigo. So the first part it's very quick, it's very fast. Games to do art. This is climbing up on the roof. There's a police officer as well. He's clearly in the police that's uniform officer and him. They are running across this roof after some sort of criminal. At one point games to worstentially slides off. He's hanging by by railing its looking down into the abyss. The policeman tries to save him and falls to his death and I have to wish with that. The first one is that I actually think it's not lit that brilliant. I think it's little bit too dark almost. And second is just feels so rush. I know hitchcock does like to set up narratives, but it just feels a little bit like boom, boom, boom and then it's and then it's done, and I would have liked something bit more visual from that scene. I didn't completely fall in love at that scene. I think it stands out as a slight weakness. And then you also have the scene, the first thing that makes very they have to go over exactly what Vertigo is, which feels a little bit too written. It still really works. It's the is, especially when they starts getting up on that share. That part is great and, like I said, vertical was obviously have a wonderful film, but those two are slight negatives that always earth be just a little bit in the first part of the film. We should mention for the this not that soul is trying to intimidate you in the form of big smile. He's to to to make you consider that take. Yeah, I notice that, yest, so sorry self now. That's right. I mean just like listening to the criticism. Look old agree with the exposition before he gets up on top of the armed share and tries to stand up and finds it too tall. Re some of the initial talking with him. Image is a little bit does feel a little bit written, but I guess for a reason, because they do it so clinically. And then he gets up on top of the second or third...

...writing of the chair. It's too much. So it is a little bit over written. But just how easily a succumbs to it afterwards. To me that that distinction in there between the two just makes that part work for me. In terms of the earlier part being poorly lit, I don't know. I think if we're a GIG attic like spot right pointing down at them, I just think you that would be in prettle be unrealistic. I mean it happened at night, which I think you know makes it all the more eerie. You can't see it properly again also, which makes a little bit more eerie and you know, I guess for me my point would be, you know that you'd think the police, but who falls down, would actually have a better balance in the roof. That might be the one thing I might say. But I'd say that's a pretty, you know, petty criticism of it. I think you know it's poorly little like that. You know. I think you know. I don't think it's unreasonable somebody might fall and something I said, happen too quickly, whatever, but I think you know that's the point of it. You know, it's a moment take, it's a moment choice or whatever, and some of that completely changes the rest of his life and completely haunts and that split moment thing. So I don't think happage too quickly. And I just I was doing those big smiles because I could just imagine a remake of the film where that the whole part happening in slower like a Sam fill but quite slow mob I would problem. That does look like. Yeah, not quite, but this like following that's shase slightly longer, for instance, so it's not like, oh, they're on the roof, oh he's falling, like there's demersed. Maybe there's I know that hit truck doesn't do that, but immersis in that scene a little bit more before something happens something like that, because it just feels like it's all so fast. I'm not even sure if it might just between minutes. I don't I haven't timed it, but it does feels like it's it's just speeding through to let us get the setup. It's a small criticism. is still a good scene. I still enjoy it. There saying that it just felt slightly to rush for me. We're trying to find tiny errors with vertical. We're not the saying it's it's, it's a bad scene. That's fine. I get to my funny thing. Also in a second. Bolele mature respond if he wants to. Yeah, I can see what you're saying, especially with the exposition. I think it works okay. I mean it is clunky. I think the actors make it work like Babwa. But get us, which I don't think we have mentioned. We've talked about Midge, but I think she had chemistry with James Stewart. Makes it work okay, but it's definitely clunky. I kind of like the effectiveness that the efficiency of the that opening scene. You know, it doesn't job and it doesn't linger ahead it and it's moves on. I guess I don't need the change bi exactly. That's hitchcock like that. Yes, bont phishcos great and thing. I mean I remember really loving like in life boat, where you know the first thing is just the boat is going down. It's already down, doesn't matter. They're the bout life boat. Now, like all of the best things with Tish coock has always been the way he's kind of been putting away things that doesn't need to be there. But in this case it just like, I guess in this case is he actually showed the set up rather than just cutting to the thing afterwards. I just made a little bit more attention. It's very efficient and it works, but I just wish, yeah, gone a little bit, I guess, against his general efficiency and just immerse us a little bit more in that scene before something happened. But yes, a very small criticism. So, salt, what is your minor criticism? Okay, so I'm I criticism. I don't know if I even call the criticism, but it's more something I don't really understand about the show man. I guess you know that intrigues me, but it also, you know, makes me wonder or whatever. It is something at previously I thought it as a criticism, but I guess so my moistruation watch whatever, I just couldn't trade by the possibilities of it. So there's a part where madeline appears in a hotel window or sort apartment complex or something. She appears in there and Scotti goes in and...

...ask the receptionist about the woman who's in the window and she's like, there's no being here. Nobody's been here since I've been here. I haven't seen anybody walk in. And they go up to the room and she's not in the room. So she's appeared there but then she's somehow manage to disappear. So it is a part that I've discussed previously on the IMDB message boards and somebody came up with a theory that, you know, we're just seeing it Scotty's mind. She's never actually out the window, which I think is a quotit for a ridiculous take on it, because the whole thing is at first person point of view. It's constantly between Midgie, Midge and Scottie, so it's not just got his perspective. So I don't buy that. Well, what I've actually come to think about, which is they which fascinates me, is this like outtake from the film where, you know, would actually seeing, you know, madeline holding along the ground in front of the respect to this disk and sneaking up the stairs or whatever. I can imagine how I'm a flashback because I see a flashback. Some others you have a flashback of her like sneaking past and whatever, but I guess the film's assuming you know that she mosso somehow snucky in there without reception seeing. I don't know how. It's the one part of the film that I can't fully explain, I think. So I was looking this we go there. Before we go there, let's actually since this. It's going to tie us into kind of the central call conceit of the film, where we might play with different interpretations of this idea that she is possessed by someone there. There's something magical there, which is one of those things that run through in the in the film. So let's put our spoiler warning here and the actually start diving into all of the things that we could not tell you previously, including this, and just reveal, reveal everything, get into that ending as well and the entire final act. So yeah, so squeak, spoiler warning, spoil of warning, and yeah, continue from there. Give your takes on how mad they managed not to be seen, as obviously she was not possessed and there's nothing magical going on here at all. I think the most likely rational explanation would be that the guy who engineered the whole another plots right, that he paid offceptionists. In reality, I don't know, I guess. I guess I'm pretty care that much, but I guess that's that's the raational explanation, if one really cares rights. I don't think it's cock has the intention that it's unweal. I agree with you. So he does use a few POV shots, but not at that point. So yeah, I don't think it's that. No, definitely not. I mean that clearly happened. And the yeah, either she was bribed or indeed she's crawled on the floor, including opposite Ares, and that maybe they even shot it. I mean he did love to talk to his actressess maybe it wasn't tender for that flashback section and some of the students that. No, no, don't do this, because in six years this field could have a shot at being the greatest film of All Times. So if if you put this in, it won't so just leave it out and do maccassion is. Where was that guy for cycle right to touch to tell him not to put in the the last scene with the psychologist spreading everything? He should yeah, he or she would have been very, very useful. They're and know that we're in the spoiler section. We can just sum up the plot a little bit as well, because obviously, even the early part of the film, Scotty is hired by this guy called Gavin Esther to track and follow his wife, Madeline, because he thinks she's potentially going crazy or she's possessed or something is going on, and Gavin says he wants...

...to give her help. And essentially madeline claims of beliefs and make Scotti believe that there is something going on with her grandma, I believe, her grandmother or Great Grandmother, where this woman who led that terrible life as somehow possessed madeline and it's going to drive her to her death. And throughout the first I believe in the first hour, we are left with the possibility that this is the case and if followed this track, had shake love story where we see all of these semi mysterious things. We see madeline fall into the ocean, we see all of these things that we led to belie like, Oh, what is driving this? But then, of course, in the second part, after Madlin has run up the clock tower and seemingly fallen to her death, realized that all of this it engineered by her husband, Gavin, and that who, the person that Scotty has been fall in love with, is not madeline esther at all. She is someone else. But, as we found out later, I lover of sorts of Gavitt, who has essentially dressed up to look as close to her as possible and give the impression that she is her, because most people simply haven't seen madeline in social long time. She's been the way she said, you know, essentially another city. She's been drugged. When Madeline, or the person playing mad it, runs up to the top of clock tower, Gavin is there with the real Madlin's body. He throws her down. This sets up an entire spiral where Scott the essentially goes mad and certainly we're on the street he sees some one who looks just like madeline but in so many ways very different. They start sort of love story where he's absolutely obsessed with her and started hand too former into Madlin. But the irony is, of course, that this is the person who played madeline and in turn is in love with Scott. They and we are seeing things from her point of view and the entire murder plot is revealed and all of what we're left with is PR broken character and this is extremely dyspovioused horrible relationship where she is pours to take on this role again, and it's beautiful, it's interesting, it's haunting. So just what do you guys think of this extreme plot twist and how did it affect the film for you? Okay, well, I might go ahead again and just refer back to the emails discussing with the friends who gave the film money. Four and a half stars, because one of the things he had mentioned also is the structure of the film and when I wrote in, my message back to him is the shifts in perspective. was definitely one big thing that I really appreciated this time around, which I didn't recall being fond of earlier. So I'd even go as far as to say that it's mistake to fit see the film as being Scotty's tail. For me, it's both Scotty and Judy's tail, and the real reason why the film is so complex is because hitch lets us see and he lets us feel both sides of the coin. And Kim's never performance really really worked me this time. Every glance and every deliberate look eales fere when she is recount and Scottie, I could really feel for her as a human being who's torn about what to do, and I could feel that she was equally as wanted US Scotty was by what she had done and how she had tricked him. And when I feel as a hitchhiker and just like let's, US fall in love with both the characters, we for in love with Scottie, a joke you law and to trusty friend, as well as with Judy, the woman who is in a burn reported to a murdered La when all that, chose afterwards a little bit of cash before the film brings them together and then tragically shows at the end that they could have never possibly made it together with so much baggage between them. Yeah, I guess interesting. I never see the film as really being from the perspective, but I suppose...

...it is more so in the second half of sort to need we see her more were obviously we see her as a real human being, because she is as opposed to to kind of femoral fantasy she's in the first parts. The ending. It funny enough. When I watched it last night I didn't remember the ending. I mean, I remembered they went back to the tower. I remembered this time he got all the way up and I remembered there was a none and someone fell off, but I wasn't quite sure which one and if it was both one. I didn't exactly remember. I think it's great, but that's that's the extreme regulich. I don't know. I mean I remember the ending in that I remember the shocking moment of the nun coming in and and someone falls off, but I remember that. But yeah, I had forgotten the specifics because I think the specific kind of don't matter. It's a tragedy, it's I think it's the most tragic possible ending. Right. She dies in his left with this memory of her that he can twach. I really like the way that that hitchhock shots it, especially the way Jim Stewart is. His body position is exactly the same as the one he has when he's falling in the dream. That's kind of this super imposition where you have Jim Stewart going in a spy one and he's got the exact same position with his arm weirdly fleaning around after him the VAC fords, which I think it's quite good. But but yeah, the end it is great, but obviously I did it. Remember exactly. Yea, you know, I'm quite amazed that he didn't remember the specifics of the ending, or probably even more amazed he certainly just said the specifics doesn't matter in terms of who fell, because for me, yeah, it's very important that it's the same person, or sort of not the same persons such or whatever, but maddie versus judy or whatever, the same woman or whatever such, you know force, because he basically has a chat to Redo the situation and to say with this time and the whole tragedy of the film. And what resonates so much for me is that, given that second chat, he fails again and that for me is just duch a haunting thing and I know when I was real watching the film most recently, when I got to the stage with a drive towards the Bell Tower, I couldn't sit still. I was literally placing around. I was pacing around my living room in circles. I couldn't sit still because his nerves are getting to me, because I knew how I was going to end and I knew there was no way to complete there's no way to stop that ending from happening and just seeing these characters driving towards when I knew all be a tragic fine, you know, it just couldn't. I could couldn't sit still. You know, there's not a lot of films I got that power over me, but that was just totally overpowering watching that knowing exactly everything that will happened. YEA, yeah, I mean you make a good point. I think I agree. It makes yeah, it makes it a lot more sand. It's a lot mom, it was an age, a lot more because it's her for folds down. I guess I had the thought that maybe both fell down. That's what I was wondering. But yeah, it's even much magic that he survives, I think, and I think that looked in his eye when it's happened, in his eyes when that happens. It is really haunting as well. It's my own dislike critique is this once against like little bit too abrupt. You to see him his stairs in absolute horror and then it's over. I don't know if I'm actually want to follow or see the corps or what they would like. I think maybe it works better the way it is. It might as be more powerful because he just cuts there. But yeah, it's just so haunting what happens there and the entire final scene and the lead up to it. I didn't pass around my my room like soul, but anticipation was really, really tense and it's also it's not just for knowing it like even duty in that scene. I mean you can see she's absolutely horrified and she's trying to stop it at every point she can when it start to go up in it's just it's that scene takes to take...

...such an emotional toll. It's it's absolutely bell binding. It's horrifying. It borders little bit on you know, got the horror. It's everything coming together. Is the full circle. So that is so strong. So just to jump off on. You mentioned the way the look that Stewart has on his face when in the ending being being very important. I think we have it really talked that much about his performance and I think it's his best performance and I love gene short. He's got a number of great performances and his career project. To me it's really interesting after World Wars, to he he fought in World War II and after that he took on this very dark wolves and you really feed it in this. I mean it's a incredibly dark whole. It's you think of it, for Party with protagonist in the S. I mean there were other films of course doing that kind of stuff, but you know he's a major stars, really popular and he's taking on this role of a man who's really pathetic. We feel for him, right, but a he's pathetic and be his sickable in many ways. I mean what he makes her go through with all the pressing up, it's kind of awful and it's got really recognizes how Likable Stewart is just naturally, but how he's also able to to tap into this to this darkness right, especially in this period of his career. Yeah, I completely we know. Just like to say the entire Final Act, which again is large mud this perspective, and that's essentially the psychological horror where this woman's don't it's a living it all the Gilt nemembories are then forced to do it again and push closer and closer and closer to the persona she embodied. When, if you can make it this terrible crime, it's almost so strong it is traumatizing. I mean the power of the seeing her performance just been, seeing her become more and more emotionally destroyed and Scott to becoming more and more but possessed in many ways, abusive and forceful. It's possibly the strongest part of the film for me actually. And there's the first part, is magical and spellbinding obsessionists. It's wonderful, but that final act is just all out techological torture. If it's so extreme, it's only this complicit and murder and they still feel for her so strongly just because of that. The essentially the terrors is going through. Yeah, the final third of the film is definitely very grueling for everything that's Scotty puts her through, and you do sort of likes their one room. Why is she letting Scotty dress her up so much wise and she complaining more, especially when she gets him. He gets her to look so much, so much, so much like Madeline look before. But I guess that's part of maybe what we're looking in terms of the love that she feels or that she's guilted, the feeling for him. She definitely feels, I guess, responsible in some way and therefore she lets more get downe than what she's comfortable at now. I wish I had a quote for it, but I have heard criticism level against the dressing up heart before and there's somebody in the iron dating message boards back in the day he said something about the film and said, you know that scene about dressing up, you know Judy, as Madeline said. I'm you know, James Stewart just might as well have been dressing the gorilla because it managed so little to him. You know who the actual woman was. I just thought it definitely as just always been like a comic call idea in my head or whatever. If you shock, had like a gorilla stand instead and had Jimmy Stut you know, try to work clothes on the gorilla to make the Grillatt quite madeline and obviously that's not the case for obvious reasons. About it does sort of pinpoint how a lot of that part of it is about Scottie doing what he feels we need, needs to do for himself beyond actually looking for the needs of Judy or Maddie, Madeline side shoot, but really judy in this case. Yeah, no, I think with that that's the pain that comes through as well, because dudy wants to be loved for who she is and to have this second sense of sort, but she's denied it...

...because he only sees madeline and he's I mean he's very psychologically unhealthy. He mean he has fall to his lowest point. Is All out of obsession at this point. I mean he doesn't care for the real duty at all. He just wants that wishing back until something snaps in his mind that he kind of understands what's been happening in it, kind of understands that it is it is the same woman in the way which where everything kind of snaps. I think that part we say that it's almost like pressing up a gorilla. Obviously the comparison, the similarity, had to be there for him to do it. It couldn't be a gorilla. But it is kind of like that in the sense that he doesn't care for a real human being there at all, especially when he kind of thinks they are two different people. He doesn't care for duty one bit. He wants the dream or the illusion or the fantasy back. Yeah, and that relationship really to me, it screams self. Also, insertion right of the way hitchcock related to his accusis so striking. The self aware of him in that sense, but because he recognizes how he uses the women for his fantasies and it's not really interested in the people they are and the tension and the tragedy that is inherent to to that. I think that's what makes to seems powerful. It's because it's tru personal also. Yeah, that that's a really great point, but you'R and in terms of personal in terms of cinematic connections, I think one thing that I hadn't thought as much about before my reward is just how close Verdugo is in some ways to the film hitchcot made two years later, which is psycho. Now, obviously they're very different films in a lot of respect, but the central conceit is actually very similar, but you think you're watching one film and then essentially even the Shaundra changes, which is absolutely spectators. Obviously, for psycho you go from thinking you're watching this crime film and then suddenly you're watching a horror and here for the first hour and ten minutes or so, a little bit more, I think you think you're watching supernatural love drama or supernatural, potentially supernatural thriller, and then suddenly there's a switch and you're watching it is kind of hyper sect I'm not sure if you can call it an war. It ties in with it a little bit, but not really, but this psychological horror show. It's it is real that it was a crime plot. None of what you seen this real. There is no possession. It's all been fake and we're what we just everything is changing. The perspective changes as well. Same same with psycho, where we go from following one protagonist and then suddenly we kind of follow another, and it is such an interesting flip because obviously films didn't use do that. Psycho gets a lot of credit for doing that, but in so many ways I think vertigo did it first and it did it in different when the more resonant way in many ways, because in psycho is more of a shock factor. In Vertigo it is far more in tune with what the film actually is and there is a more and there's a very clear line of obsession through our so we don't just switch like psycho does. So in many ways I just think that vertical should get far more credit for this incredible conceit and it's just absolutely brilliant flip. I don't don't know if I really see Vertigo as a film that lips perspectives as such. Psycho really does that, because we're following along genetly and then, without spoiling it too much, something happens and she's no longer in the film at all. In Vertigo, the characters are still all there. What happens, though, is we get a second point of view, so seeing everything mainly from one point of view within a second perspective and the two perspectives emerge together. So...

...that, for me, you know, is very powerful because I guess I really see a lot of the film about being about that really strong connection. I guess you might not say love story if we think that I love is to rushed or whatever, but this really strong connection between two characters. We're going to see one character, we're going to see the art that the characters how we get to see their tail together and, like I said before, we get to see how there were June to never actually be together. So I think it's slightly different to psycho. It is an interesting comparison to make, but I think it's definitely is quite different to what psycho does. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, with a fast to call it, to a genre shift to right. To me it doesn't change that much. It's a twist that changes all perspective, but in a very weird way. The best peticilary thing doesn't change about the the same characters. It's just as we learn more and I don't think the tone of the thing changes that much. I guess the fantastical aspect disappears but it still has that kind of weird dream like quality often. So yeah, I see what you mean in the sense that it's very much the shame of two halves like cycle. But yet the the change is much less radical. So I guess I don't think I've of it in the same terms. Not. No, I agree it's much less radical, but I think for me the the conceit of the first seventy minutes or so. That conceit of the supernatural is always very compelling, even knowing that it's not true. One of the best scenes is when they go up to the trees and they see this three that shopped open and you see the years and the centuries etc. And Madeline, or do the they're acting as she is possessed, points out here I was born and here I died. Like those scenes are absolutely incredible to me. The Browning scenes as well, we kind of key and and the scene with the window to the scenes with the painting, the scenes where you see dame steward really fall for this lie, did this conceit of this supernatural element. It just always strives me as very, very potent and strong. So that that's why I feel that there is a much bigger distinction between those two have than you perhaps feel. Yeah, actually agree. Is that? I agree that's hits go really uses his sense for mystery right, which she obviously weaponizes in his horse Amogathy for something that is that feels supernatural, which I don't think he's done that often. And you mentioned a lot of the scenes that stand out. I think particularly is it out of the dream that there's a point where we the portraits right the portrait of camera tap appears on screen. I think it's I think it's when dreams and it feels like she's looking directly at you. It's it's kind of a kind of a horror movie moment that I think works very well. I think, yeah, that there's this uncanny energy to the way he pursues madeline in the first half. Also shot head that I love that I don't know that is that notable for those people, is when he zooms in on her hair right when she's sitting looking at the portraits and he does that because he wants to highlight how her hair is done in the same way as the lady in the portrait. But it's a shot that I think, I don't know why. Maybe because the spiral R it's look like a spial her hair kind of like the whole Motif of Vertigo, and every time I see women with the hair cut like that beat in movies or in your life, I think a vertigo it. It's I don't know why that shot really stands out. Well, I just have to say I completely waman. I think you're here is like synonymous. If if you can call an immage anonymous with the film is self like it's almost powerful images, because you have this spiral. Spirals repeat themselves in the film as well, but the way it shot, the repetition of it, it's spellbinding, is hypnotizing, it's it's so powerful, and obviously that is the final thing that games steward changes with dud as well before like the reincarnation of sort, is perfected. So I think that that here, all those moments don't stand out a incredibly important yeah, and the music...

...as a spiral like quality to it as well. It was, of course. and talking about spirals, it might be time for us to come full circle in some ways, both closest episode and go back to verticals claim to being the greatest film of all time, as settled by the joint critics and filmmaker list. Off. It's at the sound from two thousand and twelve and obviously it's really hard for us to speculate, but do you think that Vertigo will remain the number one on the combined list when it's finally revealed a little later this year? Question, I mean, I mean the answer of the thinking about is no, but I like come with all these chemical answers like no, be sure, shanking, be a couple, be every vision of what's happened to the IDV list with everybody down back in the God father. So, you know, sure shaming get out this. I look, I don't know. I'd like to think, you know, the critics of the people who are being interviewed for actually submit list that are actually films they want rather than films that they wanted to throwing vertigo. So look, hopefully it remains up there. I think it's very good in a public conscious. I think it's a work very well regarded film. But says in Kane's also, and I guess you know, between the terms, really close the inner sally. Think for me, I guess, would be the newer films and seeing what impact of films may the last ten years were making to the list. I don't think would be seeing you a parasite at the top of the list. But you know, I can imagine a few films like parasite and maybe I got for Bit Holy Motors and a few others or whatever, making their way up towards the top. So I would say if I was going to put bet something, would say maybe there's a fifty research ats who were being Vertigo, forty search ads we're being kine. Timber said chance were being something else. So who knows what's going to rise up? Yeah, I don't know. I think it's possibly make see big changes because some what I understand, they're going to change a bits. I guess I'd really know that, but I think they're going to maybe have a waiter selection of critics this year. But Anyway, I think that to go with stay on top. I don't really see citizen gain getting its spots. I don't know why, but I guess. Yet I think if anything would do it is maybe two thousand and one. But yeah, I guess I would bet on Vertigo still being number one. The other thing I think about with us, as in Kaine, is that, yeah, it's not quite as popular as you know it would have been maybe twenty years ago when I was first gang of cinema. Both films for me in my alltime top fifty. But I think the vert goes and easier watch. Are Such things your narrative to get into. So I think that's going to give a little bit of a head up. But I really have no idea which I could take bets on it, but I have no idea. Yeah, it'll be really interesting to see and, as much you mentioned, they are actually looking to broaden aw the perspective even more. I think ten years ago they spent a lot of work contacting, I think, over pulsing quickly, directors and academics to try to make it the biggest ball ever, and now they're doing that again. They're trying to get even more people involved in this process and the cry to specifically get away from the UK as well be as international as possible, to trying to be more inclusive. So I think will be really interesting to see what impact that will have and also what impacts expanding it from say, a thousand voters to two thousand voters or ever larger going to go, what impact that will have. There's a lot of variables. If they get a lot of New People in, everything could change as essentially, I haven't looking at the old list a bit and the obviously they do one directors list, one critical list of will split and on the director list, like sis in cane nor where to go is number one, it's in case is three and Vertigo is seven, with the talking story in two thousand and one topping it. So if they get more directors in, would you know, Talk Your Story? Or Two thousand and one stand a larger chance that's possible? Will the fact it is ten...

...years later and the audience or the voters might perhaps be younger mean that likely newer films will have a slightly better chance? There's a lot of variable stairs. I don't know. I do think it's a good chance vertical clear remain on top. It's a good chance cits in cane could UN thrown it again. I'm not sure if any other film could necessarily take it, but with that bigger shake up a lot of different things would happen. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see. We're not quite sure exactly when this top list will be revealed. We know they're working on getting in the walls now. It's going to be sometime this summer. Is What's happens on the saying. So it's going to be very exciting when it's actually revealed. We might even do an episode on it or come back to it at some point, but there will be some more episodes in between. So thank you so much for listening and join us again. Soon. You have been listening to talking images, official PODCAST OF ICM FORUMSCOM.

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