Vertigo – Hitchcock Defying Genre
“…alternatively, a film can revise or reject the conventions associated with its genre” - Bordwell
Based on the French novel D’Entre les Morts by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, Vertigo is arguably one of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces and the “strangest, yet most hauntingly beautiful film he had ever made” (Adair, 2002). At the time, its far-fetched plot drew a mixed response from critics – Time magazine called the movie a “Hitchcock and bull story” – but today most agree that it is one of the director’s most deeply felt pictures. Vertigo very easily categorized into a specific genre – Thriller, a genre of movies that, in many ways, Hitchcock played a major role in defining. Thrillers are…show more content… He finally settles down onto the couch, facing away from the toilet door, waiting. As the bathroom door opens, he turns to his left, and we only see his left profile (Fig 1.), a mirror image to the first time he set eyes on Madeleine in the restaurant – unsure, and this time, full of anticipation. We are reminded of the green motif, by the neon light outside Judy’s apartment. As Scottie turns around to fully see the resurrected Madeleine, he slowly stands up and at this point the music starts to pick up, leading us to the point at which he sees his beloved. The camera tracks into a close up of Scottie’s face, with the green light reflecting off his eye, he almost looks like he has tears in his eyes (Fig 2.). Cut to Judy/ Madeleine stepping out of the toilet, it is Scottie’s POV of Madeleine bathed in ghostly green light. Similar to the scene in the cemetery where Madeleine was shot through a fog filter, which gave her the green glow, Judy/ Madeleine now had green light superimposed around her body, which gave her the appearance of a blurred, ghostly figure (Fig 3.). This reflected Madeleine coming back from the dead, now a ghost, as green is usually used to represent ghost or spirits in film. She then slips out of the blur and into focus, Hitchcock used this to indicate Scottie’s come back to reality, coming to his senses as he spots the locket in the next scene, realizing that Judy has been tricking him all along (Truffaut, 1985).