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June 2001, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 4 Jun 2001 09:05:06 +1000
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Many of Hitchcock's films - not just VERTIGO - have shots based on
paintings.  A case in point is the underrated TOPAZ (1969) - now
released with some of its previously deleted footage restored (deleted
because Rank in England wanted time for an intermission to sell candies
- true!).  The scene where the Russian defector's daughter plays the
piano in a safe-house outside Washington, D.C., begins with a
restful-looking shot that is modelled after Vermeer.  (The Cuban scenes
with the hero's mistress, on the other hand, are starker, and include
both a shot that resembles Delvaux's 'Venus Asleep' and a 'Pieta' shot
of a tortured couple that is described as such in the film's script.)

Speaking of VERTIGO, a couple of correspondents recently sent me an
anecdote about the film RUN LOLA RUN.  I'll append it here.

- Ken Mogg (Ed., 'The MacGuffin').
> After doing one take of the scene in the casino where Lola cashes in
her chips
> and the camera pans up to the clock on the back wall, director Tom
> decided there was too much wall. He told his art director to paint a
> on the wall. "Of what?" said the art director. "Of Kim Novak" said
Tykwer. "I
> don't know what Kim Novak looks like," replied the art director, "Then
> the back of her head," Tykwer told him and proceeded to shoot all the
> casino shots while the art director painted. Tykwer says you can see
how fresh
> the paint is because it's so shiny.

On the DVD commentary Tykwer starts by saying "paint something from
Vertigo."  After the exchange reported above, the artist did in in a
of fifteen minutes or so!  The painting is a sort of re-imagining of the

painting of Carlotta from Vertigoo.  Tykwer evidently wanted
(consciously or
unconsciously, I forget) the painting to fit in with a pronounced spiral

motif he has in the film (and he noted this in his commentary that it
in with that).  He also reported he now has the painting in his home.

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