Programme
Day I
Thursday 20th
September
Morning
08.30am
Registration
09.00am
Welcome Introduction
09.15am
Opening Address
09.30am
Speaker No.1
10.00am
Speaker No.2
10.30am
☕️ Coffee Break
10.45am
Speaker No.3
11.15am
Speaker No.4
11.45am
Speaker No.5
12.30am
Lunch Break
Afternoon
2.00pm
Speaker No.6
2.30pm
Speaker No.7
3.00pm
Speaker No.8
3.30pm
Speaker No.9
4.30pm
End of Presentations
6.00pm
Screening of Vertigo @ Lighthouse Cinema
Day II
Friday 21st
September
Morning
09.15am
Announcements
09.30am
Speaker No.1
10.00am
Speaker No.2
10.30am
☕️ Coffee Break
10.45am
Speaker No.3
11.00am
Speaker No.4
12.30am
Lunch Break
Afternoon
2.00pm
Speaker No.5
2.30pm
Speaker No.6
3.00pm
Speaker No.7
3.30pm
Speaker No.8
5.00pm
End of Presentations
Charles Barr
University East Anglia UK
Title: "Vertigo: French Connections"
Vertigo is so firmly embedded in 1950s San Francisco that it is easy to forget that it was adapted from a French novel set in Paris during the 1940s, D’Entre les Morts, authored by the pair who had by then achieved their own iconic status within the crime thriller genre: Thomas Narcejac and Pierre Boileau. Hitchcock had competed for the rights to the story with another Frenchman, Henri-Georges Clouzot. Writer-director Clouzot had emerged in the 1950s as a perceived international rival to Hitchcock as ‘master of suspense’: first with The Wages of Fear (1953), and then with the sensationally successful thriller based on Boileau and Narcejac, Les Diaboliques (1955). Hitchcock was very aware of Clouzot’s success – he shamelessly plagiarised his publicity methods five years later for Psycho – and was quick to snap up the rights to the new novel and to begin the process of turning it into Vertigo. This paper explores the complicated history of Hitchcock’s relation, direct and indirect, to the Boileau-Narcejac team, and to Clouzot, in the context of the massive wider topic of his relation to France and its film culture – with Vertigo always at the centre. 
Laura Mulvey
Birkbeck, University of London
Title: "The Metaphor of the Beautiful Automaton Reanimated: Artifice and Illusion in Vertigo"
The myth of the beautiful automaton has been around for a long time, stretching back to Pandora and epitomised by Hoffmann’s Olympia. I would like to reflect on Vertigo as Hitchcock’s re-staging of the beautiful automaton story. Madeleine’s carefully constructed iconography fuses the animate and the inanimate, the ghost and the machine. The key terms that evoke her image are artifice and illusion, characteristic of the cosmetic perfection and streamlined look of the Hitchcock blonde. But, and not for the first time in a Hitchcock film, the resonance of artifice and illusion slip out of simple iconographical traits into their narrative implications: seduction, deceit and betrayal. The drive of the film is axed around the fact that Madeleine’s image arouses a particular fetishistic obsession in Scottie: his desire is fixed, as is his gaze, on the woman’s surface appearance. Hitchcock contrasts Madeleine with Judy, whose everyday iconography is resonant of the ordinary and the natural. This reading of the film is, in a sense, a tribute to the way I learnt from Hitchcock when I wrote ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ so many years ago. I would like to reconfigure my use of Vertigo as critique in 1975 to demonstrate the critique already implicit in the film itself. But looking back at the film from another technological era, the metaphor of the beautiful automaton can find further resonances, ultimately figuring the cinema itself.
Richard William Allen
City University of Hong Kong
Title: "Love and Death: Vertigo, Dil Se, and the Circle of Influence"
One index of Vertigo’s importance as a film is the profound influence it has exerted on international cinema. But what does influence mean in this context and what explanatory value does it have? How does Vertigo enable particular cinematic re-workings of its central conceits? What idea of Vertigo informs the works that are influenced by it? And how might films that are influenced by Vertigo themselves transform our understanding of Hitchcock’s work? This paper will explore what I call the “circle of influence,” across very different cultures and contexts, between Vertigo (1958) and Dil Se(1998). I will argue, after Baxandall, that there is a constitutive circularity in the concept of influence in which the culture of reception, by embracing a certain influence, gives rise to an idea of the source which validates it. In this case, the Tamil director, Mani Ratnam, has recourse to an interpretation of Hitchcockian romanticism that reanimates the worn-out motifs of the sufi romance within Indian cinema, and thereby casts new light on the romantic-wagnerian myth of the liebestod that lies within Vertigo itself.
Sidney Gottlieb
Sacred Heart University, Connecticut, USA
Title: "The Variety of Gazes in Vertigo, Part Deux"
Vertigo is a film about second chances, and the fact that not all of the ones taken in the film work out well doesn't mean that they shouldn't be attempted. My proposed essay for the second Vertigo conference is an attempt to take advantage of such a second chance to revisit and further enhance the subject initially presented at the first Vertigo conference: the need to expand our awareness of, and attention to the rich assortment of gazes in Vertigo beyond the particular gaze that Laura Mulvey has so influentially identified as the characteristic gaze in Vertigo, in Hitchcock's films, and in cinema in general. This presentation will expand on the extensive taxonomy of gazes in Vertigo, and supported by examples from several other Hitchcock films, confirming that one of the recurrent elements throughout Hitchcock's career is his careful, creative and deliberate deployment of various types of gazes as a crucial part of what he called "pure cinema." Analyzing the multiplicity of gazes broadens our sense of the power dynamics dramatized and analyzed in his films, which do not reduce to repeated visualizations and enactments of male empowerment and female objectification and victimization; and also enhances our understanding of an often overlooked aspect of Hitchcock's "pure cinema": how characters act with their eyes.
Janet Bergstrom
University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Title: "Forced Perspective in Vertigo: Art, Technology and Hitchcock’s German Silent Film Heritage"
Although I am still exploring the terrain indicated by my title re Hitchcock in general and Vertigo in particular, I would like to focus on the use of forced (or false) perspective in Vertigo, as documented from multiple perspectives. I use archival documents from the Hitchcock Coll. at the Herrick such as set diagrams marked for false perspective (Henry Bumstead), daily production reports, camera reports and the like; script/manuscript materials; oral histories (e.g., Bumstead, Robert Boyle re the rational for and the techniques to realize false perspective in Hitchcock’s neighboring The Birds); cinematographers’ accounts; as well as film stills and brief clips. I have been studying the evolution of the use of forced perspective in Murnau's films from The Last Laugh (1924) through Faust (1926) and Sunrise (1927) -- how, specifically, his cinematographers worked hand in hand with his art directors to achieve the many false perspective shots (of different types and scale) that Murnau wanted in view of his evolving aesthetic purposes. I emphasize that I bring in film technology from the perspective of “practitioners” and follow their own sources: I have acquired many accounts detailing how specific shots were accomplished from an array of Murnau’s artist-technicians, and how they worked with Murnau. While many have referred to stand-out forced perspective shots here and there in Hitchcock’s films, I have not come across a sustained study of “how and why” – meaning also, why at a particular moment? -- which is my goal. Between Hitchcock’s experiences as a young art director and director in Germany in 1924-25 or so and Vertigo, he worked continuously with developing technologies in view of his own dramatic, logical and emotional purposes. I will refer to the literature to date on early Hitchcock and his experiences in Germany. 
Robert Belton
University of British Columbia – Okanagan, Canada
Title: "Triviality and Meaning in Vertigo: How the Incidental Amplifies Interpretive Excess"
Cinematic interpretations vary due to cognitive differences, especially the confirmation and availability biases. Viewers with different backgrounds have experienced different cultural objects that become “available” for comparison to details in a film, which they then use selectively to “confirm” their interpretations, ignoring potentially disconfirming evidence. This paper identifies several almost unnoticeable things in Hitchcock’s Vertigo that extend the meaning effects of the film’s narrative when we take the time to notice them and extrapolate their significance. Among the trivial details that have gone without much (or any) critical analysis in published critiques of the film include the papers on Scottie’s coffee table (a copy of the 1950s men’s magazine Swank), a pamphlet on his writing desk (on how to colour photographs), and even features of the architecture (a wall sconce undergoing a change that looks like a mere continuity error). Given Hitchcock’s reputation for enthusiastic attention to details, it seems unlikely that all of these things would be trivial—that is, entirely meaningless. Moreover, subsequent interviews imply that Hitchcock was deliberately manipulating viewers with hidden content that casts doubt on some of the most common interpretations. The latter information, standing “outside” the film in a manner akin to Gérard Genette’s “epitexts,” colours our interpretation of details in the film—“peritexts”—to foster the generation of additional meaning effects—“paratexts.” In this way, Hitchcock proves himself to be a master not only of suspense but also of planned ambiguity, which some psychology researchers see as the defining characteristic of the highest art.
Barbara Straumann
University of Zurich, Switzerland
Title: "Fatal Resemblances: Cross-mapping Hitchcock’s Vertigo with Nabokov’s Lolita"
In late 1964, Alfred Hitchcock and Vladimir Nabokov cross paths for a short period of time. Hitchcock approaches Nabokov for a joint project, and after a telephone conversation, the filmmaker and the writer exchange several plot ideas. What a collaborative film by Hitchcock and Nabokov might have looked like had they pursued their plans, we can only speculate. In addition to the iconic status they had both attained by the early 1960s as at once distinctive and detached auteur figures, Nabokov himself may have thought of further affinities when, in his account of the gala premiere of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita on 13 June 1962, he described himself as the virtual double of Hitchcock: “Crowds […] peered into my car hoping to glimpse James Mason but finding only the placid profile of a stand-in for Hitchcock.” Yet over and beyond the remarkable resemblance between the two figures and their body gestures once they had attained a certain age, there are also compelling convergences in Hitchcock’s and Nabokov’s thematic and aesthetic concerns. Rather than on notions of explicit intertextuality and influence, my focus is on mutual concerns and preoccupations. In reading Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) alongside Nabokov’s Lolita (1955), I take my cue from Elisabeth Bronfen’s usage of the concept “cross-mapping”. Referring to Stanley Cavell and his reading of George Cukor’s film Philadelphia Story (1940) together with Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bronfen suggests that certain aesthetic texts can be fruitfully mapped onto one another even if they do not stand in a direct intertextual relation. The critical interest at stake in such a cross-mapping lies in analogies, in exploring the similarities and differences between the tropes brought into circulation. Vertigo and Lolita both revolve around the desire to resurrect a dead female love object. In seeking to remake Judy as Madeleine, Scottie resembles Humbert, who attempts to retrieve his childhood love Annabel in Lolita. Both narratives demonstrate how the obsessive endeavour of their male protagonists to model their female love objects on previous images and texts kills these female subjects not only metaphorically but also quite literally. By commenting on the fatal effects that representations have in this economy of the male gaze, Vertigo and Lolita refer us to the self-reflexive aesthetic which Hitchcock and Nabokov develop in their respective media.
Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli
University of California, Davis, USA
Title: "Vertiginous hauntings"
In Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) we are confronted by ghosts—of women who are thrown away by powerful men, of men obsessed with ideal images—and haunted by music—that conjures memories of tragic romance and portals of the past that look onto a game of seduction, control, staring back with a murderous gaze. This haunting takes vertiginous turns: Scottie is haunted by Madeleine, who is haunted by Carlotta, who is haunted by the powerful man who takes away their child. Powerful men are haunted by a need to control women and get away with murder. But hidden in this act of control is an act of forgery. We know these ghosts to be fake but they haunt us just the same. This paper will look at two ghostly returns to Vertigo: Gordon’s Feature Film (2000), and Lynn Hershman’s installation Vertighost (2017). Hershman multiplies the images of Madeleine, confusing it with the image of Carlotta by having three different actresses play Madeleine and return to the Legion of Honor only to look into a mirror rather than at a painting of Carlotta. Feature Film, which contains no image of any woman, is more of a supplementary film than a remake. It presents James Conlon, the conductor of the Paris Opera, performing Herman’s score. Gordon’s film frees Judy Barton from man’s hold, revealing underneath the look, a series of rivalries between men — between Hitchcock and Gordon as filmmakers, between Herman as composer and Conlon as conductor, between the musical score and Scottie’s emotional affect, between Elster and Scottie who vie to control Madeleine. But these are false rivalries, since without the snare of an enthralling image (Madeleine as simulacra), there is no longer any ground to fight over. Both Hershman and Gordon foreground deception and simulation, providing us with a performance of a performance. They draw attention to the truth of the lie.
Mark Padilla
Christopher Newport University, Virginia
Title: "Mapping the Mythical Terrain of Vertigo"
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is marked with classical myth. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice, clearly an informing narrative in Scottie’s double loss of “Madeleine,” belongs to the film’s early drafts. Scottie’s remaking of Judy as “Madeleine” is a transparent updating of the Pygmalion and Galatea story—a story line made popular in the 1956 Lerner-Loewe hit musical, My Fair Lady, a reworking of Shaw’s Pygmalion. (The musical is the genre Kim Novak starred in just prior to Vertigo, starring as she did in Pal Joey.) The narrative presence of mythic themes extends beyond these two chestnut stories. By opening up the film to closer scrutiny of archetypes (meaning here traditionally used motifs, not elements of Jung’s collective unconscious), the outlines of several other stories become perceptible. My paper will map this explored terrain in general terms by suggesting further possibilities for consideration. Judy, in the guise of Madeleine, functions as a Pandora figure: appearing beautiful and alluring in her arranged fashion, she brings the gifts of death and heartbreak to her receiver. Pandora’s receiver is Epimetheus, the gullible brother of Prometheus. Scottie, also carrying the name of John, may be said to evoke the two sides of Prometheus and Epimetheus. Other accounts that also give texture to the film’s mythic contours include the story of Io and Argus, Jason and Medea, and several other familiar tales. Such stories are all commonly expressed in the fine-art objects housed in the film’s much-visited gallery in Palace of the Legion of Honor and in the three other classics-emphasizing museums Hitchcock uses as venues.
Kevin Donnelly
University of Southampton UK
Title: "The Ascent of Vertigo"
On the sixtieth anniversary of its release, I wish to address directly why Vertigo is considered so highly at present. It was not always the case. It had a mixed critical reception upon its initial release, in some cases garnering a highly negative response. Part of the 'problem' was that Hitchcock had a reputation for making high quality, engaging mainstream drama, and Vertigo whilst being accessible was a troubling, slow and sometimes difficult film. As an overview of the film, I will trace the status and attitude to Vertigo on a trajectory from its early production problems, its box office disappointment and critical denigration, to an acceptance not only as a notable piece of film art but also as an exemplar of the limits of emotional maturity and profundity possible in the cinema. The turn from purely cinema exhibition based on isolated releases to home consumption (VHS in the 80s, DVD in the 90s and now Blu-ray or download) has had a notable impact on how we approach Vertigo. The possibility of repeat viewings, not conceived at the time of its production or even envisaged after its release, allow us to appreciate the subtleties and semi-submerged implications of the film that reveal a complexity and depth in Vertigo rarely seen in any other film in the history of cinema. Authors and researchers constantly find something new to say or unearth new perspectives hidden beneath the surface of Vertigo. Indeed, it is arguably that the rise in mainstream popularity and ascent in critical appreciation for Vertigo has its source in the film’s ambiguities that perpetuates debate, speculation and re-evaluation likely to carry on for another sixty years.
Steven Jacobs
University of Ghent, Belgium
Title: "The Tourist Guide Who Knew Too Much: Vertigo and the Monuments of San Francisco"
An ardent tourist himself, Alfred Hitchcock frequently made explicit references to the phenomenon of tourism, its visual markers and related habits. Several tourist attractions and monuments play an important part in his films. Symbolical constructions by definition, these monuments evoke historical or ideological values but they first and foremost contribute to the construction of a topographical context that is entertaining or spectacular in itself. This is certainly the case in Vertigo (1958), which is structured on a series of prolonged car drives through San Francisco with a highly landmarking effect. First and foremost, Vertigo is marked by a fascination for monuments that establish a communication with a mysterious past: the church and graveyard of Mission Dolores, the mission church of San Juan Bautista, the redwood forest with the age-old trees, the Victorian McKittrick hotel, Bernard Maybeck’s neoclassical Palace of Fine Arts that looks like a romantic ruin, and the museum in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. Exploiting their dramatic potentials, Hitchcock presents these monuments and famous places as landscapes of terror. In Vertigo, all landmarks are in the grip of death and, like in some of his other films, people fall from monuments. Hitchcock, however, transcends or undermines the conventional tourist gaze by disrupting the familiar and meanwhile ubiquitously reproduced image of a monument. Vertigo perfectly illustrates that the visualization of monuments and tourist sites is highly dependent on a dialectic relation between the real and the artificial. Monuments are primarily buildings to be looked at, they include their own staging and viewpoints. Hence they are perfect motifs for a director who is highly concerned with the gaze and specialized in point-of-view shots.
Christine Sprengler
Western University Canada
Title: "The Broom that Sweeps the Cobwebs Away ": Vertigo’s Soundtrack as Sound Art"
New York Times writer Joseph Horowitz called Vertigo’s score “a greater achievement than that of many composers seeking to write the Great American Symphony.” Musically, it signifies a turning point in the history of film scores, preserving certain classical Wagnerian tendencies but also indicating the way forward to more pared down modernist forms of expression that would come to define Bernard Herrmann’s later career. Indeed, much of the appeal that Vertigo’s score holds can be located in its inventive cyclical structure and what it brings to the experience of Hitchcock’s film by virtue of its emotive power, capacity to reinforce narrative themes and, on occasion, to tell a story different than the one we are seeing. Herrmann’s achievement has long been of interest to musicologists and film scholars, generating bar-by-bar analyses of its significance. However, since the late 1980s, it has also been subject to investigation by a number of artists whose sound works have yet to receive any sustained attention. Following comment on the importance of Herrmann’s composition and the reasons for Vertigo’s appeal to artists invested in sound, this paper will introduce a series of contemporary artistic practices that appropriate, re-record, re-mix or otherwise intervene in the film’s score (and soundtrack, more generally) as a way to explore the mnemonic power of music and to complicate what Victor Burgin calls the “already heard” portion of that “image envelope” of remembered filmic fragments. I will begin with a brief introduction to works by Rea Tajiri, Les LeVeque and Gregory Chatonsky to illustrate the range of approaches to Vertigo’s sounds and to acknowledge the difficulty in situating these practices in existing sound art traditions like musique concrète or within the acoustically-oriented strains of Fluxus. I then focus on Christian Marclay’s Vertigo: Soundtrack for an Exhibition (1990) and Douglas Gordon’s Feature Film (1999) to further my analysis of music in relation to memory, but also to assess the sophisticated ways in which these practices engage critical questions about sound in relation to cinematic (and gallery) space and sound in relation to the cinematic image.
Ned Schantz
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Title: "The Hospitality of Scottie Ferguson in Vertigo"
My paper will focus on the pivotal scene in Scottie’s apartment after he has fished Madeleine out of San Francisco Bay. Even more than most scenes of hospitality, this one entangles loaded forms of social status in the fleeting dance of host and guest. In what seems to be a situation of basic refuge, the task of caring for a wet woman gets immediately troubled—and eroticized—by the apparent facts that she is both married and initially unconscious. And yet the threats of impropriety and sexual violence remain poised against the nonetheless convincing show of hospitality, and indeed eventually against a curious note of sexual, romantic innocence, since in the course of their conversation Scottie declares, in ostensible reference to leaping into the bay: “it’s the first time for me too.” It is this potent mix of innocence and sophistication that I wish to consider with respect to the viewer’s own position in this scene, particularly once in hindsight the situation comes under dramatic revision. Indeed, nothing changes our purchase on the film more than the knowledge that Judy, in pretending to be Madeleine, was pretending to be married and pretending to be unconscious, but not pretending to fall in love. This paper will therefore attempt to account for the full force of this scene in its double form, asking how both the initial and the revised versions negotiate the central ellipsis of the film—the withheld spectacle of Madeleine’s/Judy’s undressing. Ultimately, I wish to argue that this is the most important scene in the film for understanding the experience of viewing Vertigo beyond the first time.
Mark Osteen
Layola University Maryland, USA
Title: "Versions of Vertigo: They Wake Up Screaming"
Hitchcock’s landmark 1958 film was an adaptation of D’entre les morts, a novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, though the film has little in common with the novel. But Hitchcock’s film is some ways merely the most elaborately colored rendition of a common motif in American film noir: a man, often a detective, who is obsessed with a dead woman. Earlier examples of this narrative include Otto Preminger’s Laura (1944), Edward Dmytryk’s Cornered (1945), Joseph H. Lewis’s My Name Is Julia Ross (1945), and Bruce Humberstone’s I Wake Up Screaming (1942) and its remake, Harry Horner’s Vicki (1953), and among others. So potent is Hitchcock’s variation on this theme that other filmmakers have repeatedly reworked it: Brian DePalma’s 1976 film Obsession (with a screenplay by noir scholar Paul Schrader), for example, borrows most of Hitchcock’s story and even cops a few of its signature shots. Other Vertigo-obsessed neo-noirs include Jonathan Demme’s Last Embrace (1979) and Phil Joanou’s Final Analysis (1991). More recently, Guy Maddin’s 2017 The Green Fog, in the spirit of Douglas Gordon’s 24-Hour Psycho, uses the original film as a launching pad for a meditation on its themes and on the nature of cinema itself, in Maddin’s case by means of a collage of old film clips and TV shows. Vertigo, then, resides in an intertextual nexus where romance, film noir and postmodernism meet. This paper examines these many versions of Vertigo to explore how Hitchcock transforms a second-rate novel and a trite noir trope into an enduring investigation of the dangerous power of obsession and female subjection; it shows how the later filmmakers appropriate and alter Hitchcock’s themes and devices to depict their own cinematic and romantic obsessions. Vertigo has drawn filmmakers and viewers alike into a vortex of repetition that reiterates Scottie Ferguson’s repetition compulsion.
Dona Kercher
Assumption College, Massachusetts, USA
Title: "Dressing to Be Different: Almodóvar and Martel Refashion Vertigo"
Pedro Almodóvar has compared his directorial role with his actresses as that of Jimmy Stewart/Scottie dressing and refashioning Kim Novak as Judy to be Madeleine. Vertigo informs many of Almodóvar’s films but none more than The Skin I Live In (2011). The film reworks Vertigo’s romantic obsessions and gender boundaries, both literally through the depiction of forced gender reassignment surgery, and figuratively, in the revelation of romantic love through the appearance and circulation of a particular Dolce and Gabbana dress in the narrative. The implicit authorial position in the film however is from the perspective of the victim of the refashioning obsession. The transgendered subject becomes the active agent of her destiny. Vertigo serves as a template through which to explore and overcome a certain cruelty in romantic obsession. There are few women directors who have adapted Vertigo, or who have explored such male dominated film genres as thrillers and historical dramas. The Argentine director Lucrecia Martel, many of whose films have been funded by Almodóvar’s production company and who is personally close to the Spaniard, is an exception to this generic pattern. Martel repeats and interprets the symbolism of Judy’s green wardrobe and explores the subjective interiority of Judy in The Headless Woman (2008). In Martel’s film the main character Vero, whose name evokes the controversy around Vera Miles, the actress originally set to star in Vertigo but whom Hitchcock in effect blacklisted when she became pregnant, roams aimlessly, after she has a car accident, perhaps hitting a child, or not. This archetype of the wandering woman harkens back to Judy/Madeline in the first half of Vertigo. This paper will explore the comparisons. Both Almodóvar and Martel’s movies question the boundaries of the heteronormative structure of Vertigo while adapting significant elements of its narrative and mise en scene. These two films and the intersecting careers of their respective directors show the enduring global impact of Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
Richard Blennerhassett
Clinical Psychiatrist, Saint John of God Hospital, Dublin
Title: "The dark side of romance: ‘Shadow’ in Vertigo"
In Vertigo we encounter a hero washed up on the shores of midlife. The pivotal opening image is of James Stewart, as the middle aged detective Scottie, hanging on for his life from a roof edge. He survives but has a new found sense of fear and unease, the certainties of his former life having deserted him. In the first half of Vertigo we watch fascinated as Scottie moves further and further into a dream world of romantic obsession, feeling a renewed sense of life, unaware of the dangers ahead. The death of Madeleine in the outer world is mirrored in Scottie’s inner world, now plunged into darkness. The second half of Vertigo is replayed as nightmare. Once more we watch the drama unfold in fascination, this time with mounting unease as Scottie succumbs to his darkest desires and is left with, as Martin Scorsese observed, “nothing to show but his humanity”. Carl Jung used the term ‘Shadow’ for everything that has been repressed or gone unrecognised in our make-up. It represents all those parts of us we wish to disown, our fears, selfishness, anger and capacity for destruction but it also embodies aspects of our life that have not been allowed expression such as spontaneity and creativity. The paper will explore the dark side of relationships in Vertigo, in keeping with Hitchcock’s observation, that the real drama in Vertigo lay not in the murder mystery, but what went on in the minds of the characters.
Stephane Duckett
Clinical Psychologist, Royal Free Hospital, London
Title: "Post-war Gender Politics in Vertigo"
When Hitchcock came into adolescence at the start of the 20th.c women's suffrage was the single biggest issue in British political life. Because of its cross-class nature it was viewed by many to be ripping the very fabric of society apart. Feminine consciousness dimmed in 1920s, but for those who were born into this earlier period, particularly working class, it remained in their consciousness. This is why the Hitchcock's repeatedly brought a woman's point of view into their films where it did not exist in the source material. Two world wars separated women and men in early life for long periods, just as they were becoming sexualized adults. Films, for good or bad, intentionally or not, provided guidance for both sexes as to what was expected of them in terms of conduct towards one another. For women this created a feminine mystique, empowering but also dehumanising women as Betty Friedan documented. Vertigo covers these themes that were powerfully realized in Stewart's and Novak's remarkable performances, lifting this film from a mere crime drama into something more enduring that still speaks to us today. I end the talk with a very amusing and telling 'alternate' take for Vertigo that Hitchcock mischievously concocted.