"Vertigo", chapter 9 quandry...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Wilkins, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    I hope this question finds its way to Robert Harris, but perhaps another member will know the answer as well.

    In chapter 9, of "Vertigo", where Jimmy Stewart and Barbara Bel Geddes are visiting the Argosy Bookstore, and are about to depart; the scene grows very dim, in the manner of a rapid fade--not a fade to black, mind you. The effect has the appearance of an exposure problem rather than a lighting issue, but, I noticed that after the characters are outside the bookstore, and the shop is in plain view behind them, the lights come up rapidly, and the interior of the shop is brightly lit once more.

    Does anybody know what took place during the scene? I can't imagine Hitchcock letting it slide at the time of production, being such a perfectionist.
     
  2. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    It is intentional.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Hitchcock used the worsening weather and growing darkness outside the shop to set off the darkening story being told within.

    From a stricly archival point of view, and working in an analog form, the darkening scene meant a thinner emulsion.

    A thinner emulsion meant that the yellow layer of the film, which controls blue, grew progressively worse as the scene darkened. Film elements had to be handled in different ways at different points in the scene, which could not be worked (for restoration) as a single take, but rather, as a series of (hopefully) invisible dissolves.

    RAH
     
  4. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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  5. Frank Ha

    Frank Ha Second Unit

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    This doesn't deal with lighting issue, but does anyone know if there are plans to release Vertigo with an anamorphic transfer? This is one of my favorite Hitchcock films.
     
  6. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    The same transfer is available in anamorphic in both France and the UK.

    The bookstore scene is brilliant, especially the way the lighting changes and darkens within the scene.
     
  7. Bill Huelbig

    Bill Huelbig Second Unit

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  8. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    It's one of my favorite scenes in the film. I saw it opening night at the Ziegfeld in 1996, and of course have seen it many many times over the years, including its original release in '58.
     
  9. Darren_Reed

    Darren_Reed Extra

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    I assume the U.K. and French releases mentioned above are PAL. Are there any NTSC releases of this that are anamorphic?
     
  10. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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