Dr. Campbell, you should be absolutely thrilled, because–finally–I am going to talk about Vertigo. But just a little, for now. I figure it’s best if I deal with little chunks of the film at a time, because I want to be thorough. In fact, this entire post is going to cover just one scene. Ready?
THE GRAVEYARD SCENE:
First, let’s examine the way in which Madeleine is framed in each of the P.O.V. shots.
Notice any similarities? In nearly every single shot, she is in the exact center of the frame. What message is Hitchcock trying to communicate through this, what effect does it have on us, and what does it tell us about Scottie? In this scene, he is following her through the graveyard, so every shot of her is from his point of view. This means that Madeleine is always in the center of Scottie’s focus. This ties back to the very centrally-focused opening credits. (The Punisher discusses this very well, so I’m not going to go into it further here.) However, going through this scene, I also noticed an interesting use of both color and architecture to create certain effects. Notice the orange flowers in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th shots above. Now how about these?
Yes, it is possible that there is simply a large quantity of orange flowers in this garden. But Hitchcock didn’t have to frame his shots in this particular way; these must have been included intentionally. I’ve been sitting here for the past half hour, trying to figure out what the orange flowers represent, but maybe this is just one of those realizations that will come once I stop thinking about it, probably in the middle of my sociology class.
So there was going to be a whole lot more here, but as I got more involved in analyzing certain aspects of this film, I hit upon a spectacular idea for my final paper. I feel like I’m cutting this entry short, but I can’t let myself go any further in this direction until I do my final blog ;)
P.S. I figured out the orange. Bwahaha! Oh, and Stephanie Breijo, you’re my favorite. Thanks for lending me the DVD! (Yay, screenshots!)