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Vertigo-A Hazy Experience


allthumbs
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i just finished watching Vertigo (today's Sep 5, and there's one more airing on Sep 15), and the restoration copy used by TCM didn't seem crisp all the time. from time to time, a scene would be a hazy white (like my computer when there's a problem with the "cloud"). the scene would play out, and then return to the next scene with the film clear and crisp.

 

now there's one scence with Kim Novak where she's made-over to look like Madeleine, and then approaches the camera from out of a hazy cloud. that was intentional. what i'm talking about is the random change that happens when it's not supposed to happen. for example, Scottie and Midge go to the Argosy Book Store to get the low-down about Carlotta from the owner, Pop Leibel. that scene was a hazy affair when it should have been clear.

 

i've heard that there have been difficulties with restorations (the 1983 effort has been said to have been a poor job) because the original elements have deteriorated. tonight's copy was of erratic quality and makes me wonder if a truly good (if not perfect) restoration copy exists, or even if such a thing is possible with Vertigo.

 

anybody know anything about the copy used tonight?

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>allthumbs:

>anybody know anything about the copy used tonight?

 

No, but I almost posted about the print myself. The color also seemed desaturated at points. At the end of the film, when the restoration credits came up, I laughed to myself and wondered, "What restoration?" I hope this isn't the same print they'll use when they show it again later this month as part of the Hitchcock series.

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Maybe I'm seeing things.. or not. There was no noticeable 'haze' or diminished color when I viewed it on TCM last night. I was more focused on the ambient sounds (which I believe make this movie special), but I'm sure I would have noticed a change such as this.

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I didn't notice anything particularly hazy about the scene in the

bookstore, just that it seemed a bit dark and shadowy, which fit

in with the conversation.

 

On a related note. Some people in the past, when talking about

the plot holes in Vertigo, have mentioned that the saleswomen at

the shop should have been suspicious since this was the third

time someone came in looking the same and wanting the same

grey suit. But we only see Judy wearing the suit when Jimmy is

trying to recreate Madeleine. We never see anyone else buying

the dress suit. Mystery solved.

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I own the DVD of *Vertigo*. It comes with special features, including one of those "voice over commentaries". You know, something you'd only select if you know the movie well.

 

As I recall, it's the restored version on the DVD, and the people commenting on it, are the ones who restored the film. They DO comment on the darkness in the book shop scene, saying they had to re-do it (?) and it was extremely difficult and complicated.

These guys actually go into quite a bit of detail on *Vertigo's* restoration, and how they went about it.

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I'm dating myself, but there was a time during the 1980s when the only way to obtain a copy of "Vertigo" was to record it with a VCR off television, so that was all I had until perhaps the early 90s, when Universal finally realeased it on VHS. It wasn't until then, that I was able to watch the exquisite flower shop scene, because the network had cut that scene in order to make room for advertisements. When I compare that old print to the newly restored print in my mind's eye, it is definitely more vivid with higher contrasts (the restored print). However, sometimes I think the older print was richer in its darker tones, but that could just be my imagination. One day I must pull that old VHS out of storage and compare the two!

 

I only watched the last 20 mins of the film last Thursday, so I cannot comment on any noticeable haze, but it could go back to how the darker tones appear in the restoration.

 

As a side note, I thought the interview with Kim Novak was fascinating and very touching. When Kim sent this lovesick thirteen year old a personally autographed photo, she captured my heart indefinitely! She truly is a treasure.

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The restoration was fraught with problems. The negative had faded, affecting color balance and saturation. And, for some reason still a mystery to many, the restorers dubbed in additional Foley into the soundtrack (street noises, birds chirping, etc).

 

I used to own a 35mm dye transfer print of VERTIGO and, unfortunately, the restoration prints don't come close. Hopefully a new digital restoration will be done that can properly correct the color and restore the original - and only the original - soundtrack.

 

This is no slight to Robert Harris, who has admitted his dissatisfaction with the original restoration. There was a lot of studio interference and when the soundtrack had to be re-built due to the original being unusable, I believe there was some studio meddling that resulted in the additional Foley.

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The nun shoulda said oops!

 

 

 

I can't understand how that nun managed to get up all those stairs without puffing and blowing loud enough to warn them she was there; or even to make it up there in the first place. She didn't look like a spring chicken.

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> Speaking of nuns, I've heard Delores Hart (I forget her nun name) is going to make an appearance on TCM! Unsure when or in connection to WHAT.....

 

 

She is going to be a Guest Programmer in the months ahead and one of the films she picked is *Laura* which will be making its TCM premiere.

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>Hibi said: Speaking of nuns, I've heard Delores Hart (I forget her nun name)...

 

She has such an interesting background. She chose the name Sister Judith for herself, then changed it to Sister Dolores when she took her vows.

 

Here's some cool wikia: The Reverend Mother Dolores Hart is Prioress of the Abbey (since 2001), but she remains a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, having in recent years become the only nun to be an Oscar-voting member.

 

Ha! How about that?

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