Yesterday afternoon I drove out to Universal to watch a new DCP of Vertigo, which is the basis of the forthcoming Bluray. I’m not going to share my reactions until later, but it did leave me wondering if Vertigo really and truly deserves its #1 position in the 2012 Sight and Sound poll. Every time I see it it gets a little creakier, just a little bit harder to get lost in. I used to think this 1958 film was eerily haunting and slightly spooky and totally swimming in emotional obsession like few other films in history, but it’s getting old and the Eisenhower-era seams are showing.
Maybe it’s because I’ve seen Vertigo too many times, but more and more I’m noticing and getting stopped by the exasperating, flat-footed aspects. That expository dialogue in that early scene in Midge’s apartment. James Stewart‘s inability to be even slightly covert as he follows Kim Novak around San Francisco. That nonsensical moment when the landlady of the McKittrick Hotel says that Novak hasn’t been in the hotel, a lame tease on Hitchcock’s part. Novak’s pathetic line to Stewart in her hotel room: “Like me?” Novak’s stupidity in putting on the Carlotta necklace. The absurdity of a heavily shadowed nun scaring Novak enough to fall or leap put of the San Juan Batista bell tower. I’m sorry but all these things were vaguely irritating me and then some.
Hollywood Elsewhere’s 45 or 46 Greatest Films of All Time: The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, High Noon, Zodiac, Strangers on a Train, Barry Lyndon (except for the dead zone portion in Act Three), L’Avventura, Citizen Kane, The Social Network, North by Northwest, The Godfather, Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, Shane, Sexy Beast, Taxi Driver, Some Like It Hot, Children of Men, On The Waterfront, The Wizard Of Oz, The Limey, the Sopranos epic, The Train, Goodfellas, On The Waterfront, Sunset Boulevard, The American Friend, Psycho, Blow Up, Prince of The City, Full Metal Jacket, L’eclisse, United 93, Vertigo, Deliverance, The Hit, Purple Rose of Cairo, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Only Angels Have Wings, Lolita, Bloody Kids, Amores perros.