Director: Alfred Hitchcock | USA | 1958 | 130 minutes
Sinister plot twists, hints of ghosts, and death by bell tower—Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo puts a psychological spin on all things Halloween and kicks off a week of Hitchcock films at the Brooks. This 1958 thriller was named in 2012 the greatest movie of all time by 846 film experts polled in Sight & Sound magazine, which compiles a “100 greatest films” list every decade. James Stewart and Kim Novak star in the mistaken identity classic, which knocked Citizen Kane from the top spot after a 50-year reign. Chock full of psychological complexities, time-shifting plot elements, and the overreaching themes of voyeurism and obsessive love, Vertigo is Hitchcock at his best.
Critics frequently interpret Vertigo as a map of female Oedipal trajectory or a tale of male aggression and visual control. While the plot is fantastic, we’re equally fascinated by the role of art in the film. For example, artist John Ferran, a member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionists, created the nightmare sequence experienced by Stewart’s character. The portrait of Carlotta hanging in the Legion of Honor Museum, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, was painted by Roman artist Manlio Sarra, whose work hangs in a number of museums including the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY, and and the Museum of Modern Art in Avezzano, Italy. Legendary costumer Edith Head used color psychology to heighten emotion on screen, while animator John Whitney employed a mechanical computer better known as a WWII-era tool to guide anti-aircraft cannons to design the rotating patterns in the film’s title sequence. And Vertigo was the first film to use the dolly zoom, a perspective-distorting camera effect.
$9/$5 Brooks members and students with valid ID/Free with VIP Film Pass.
Tickets are available online until 2:30 pm the day of the screening or 2:30 pm on Friday for weekend matinees. Tickets are also available at Visitor Services, or by calling 901.544.6208 during regular business hours. Unsold tickets are also available in the rotunda immediately preceding a screening.