November 09, 2009

Mahler and Glass

I finally get to see Hitchcock's Vertigo (in the restored version on DVD) … and now I can make sense of la Jet√©e and Sans Soleil (sorry, in-joke).

But I'm puzzled by the critical responses to this film (or what I know of them): this slightly-garish, overheated, implausibly-plotted, over-acted creaking sprawl of a film is surely quite a lot of fun, but to me it felt more like watching an extended soap than a top 100 movie. At least this is one film where San Francisco isn't a character so much as just a backdrop (to this long-time Bay Area resident it feels like a home movie; it's funny how little has changed in the City over the years, except how white everyone is in a film about a city that even then was all over the map color-wise, and how strangely easy it is for Jimmy Stewart to park his car in parts of the city historically choked with parked cars).

The real pleasure for me was the score, which sounded like a tonally-conservative Mahler crossed occasionally with sprinkles of Glass; a joy to hear loud. Otherwise, I found myself counting The Simpsons references and wondering about the possibilities of a subdued form of Camp.

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At 11/17/2009 12:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

enesibMaybe it should have been called "Hysteria" instead. It is good nutty fun though.


At 11/17/2009 2:24 pm, Blogger Jimmy Little said...

Yeah, "good nutty fun" sounds about right. It's one of those films whose hysteria is apparently forgivable because of its provenance…


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