Directed by Alfred Hitchcock (USA, 1958, 129 min.). Digital.
Ex-police officer Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) has a deathly fear of heights, forcing him into a dull and reclusive existence—until an old friend, Elster, hires Scottie to spy on his wife, Madeleine. As he follows her around San Francisco, Scottie develops an intense fascination with Madeleine that soon spirals into something darker. Hitchcock’s haunting masterpiece is self-aware in its exploration of gender roles, highlighting the protagonist’s compulsion to deconstruct and possess the object of his gaze. Scottie and Madeleine’s toxic dynamic is underscored by a deft use of color; Madeleine is often drenched in a cool green haze, rendering her an unattainable otherworldly presence, while Scottie is marked by the deep mahogany of traditional masculinity and the blazing red of sexual obsession. Together, the opposing colors create a creeping sense of discord that makes Vertigo a heady ride from beginning to stunning end.
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