Composition in Blue
(Komposition in Blau, Oskar Fischinger, Germany 1935, 5 min., 35mm)
(Alfred Hitchcock, US 1958, 128 min., 35mm)
Tricks through Time. In Hitchcock’s most personal film, a retired San Francisco detective (James Stewart) is hired to follow the wife (Kim Novak) of a former school chum. Slowly, inexorably, he becomes obsessed with his charge, but both are haunted by their own personal ghosts. Manipulating narrative and audience expectations, Vertigo stands as perhaps the most profoundly fascinating and disturbing film ever to emerge from the Hollywood system. The dense color palette of the film—shot in Technicolor—plays a key part in the mystery and emotion of the film. Bernard Hermann’s orchestration of Vertigo’s hues will be preceded by the more literal color symphony directed by famous animator Oskar Fischinger.