Tuesday, August 4, 2020


The long, slow poisoned walk down the stairwell at the end of the film is cinematic and narrative brilliance. Then, Claude Rains' character turns and walks into the house, the door closes. Fin. So much romance, so much suspense. The hero just walks away with the girl. Nothing left to fight about in Rio. 

Hitchcock never made another film quite like this one, though he made plenty of great ones. It has an elegance that his others do not quite match, and not all of that can be attributed to Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, though certainly they must be credited with much of it. I mean... just look at them.

Clifford Odets worked on the screenplay, focusing primarily on the dialogue of the love scenes. They may seem dated now, almost 75 years on, but they must have really melted a few girls' butter back then.  

Vertigo remains one of my favorites. The psychological themes of identity, as expressed visually, speak something deeply to me. They remind me of a truth I had to learn. Difficult to verbalize, yet evident in the film, through how they can be felt but hardly touched or described. Vertigo is a disorienting sense that you are moving when you are not. I have felt it, and I agree with Hitchcock's take on how it relates to the identity and identification of love. 

How much is person, and how much is persona, when madly in love? To the point of obsession, then past that into something even more chthonic, something even deadly. What a dangerous thing it is to see and desire a person within another. 

I have felt it.