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Film Quarterly (2007) - An Eye for Hitchcock




Review of "An Eye for Hitchcock" - by Murray Pomerance

Not surprising considering that he is a sociologist, Pomerance's key argument in his meditations about these films is that they abound with hitherto unnoticed explorations of class hierarchy, couched in a variety of guises and references to what he terms "vital verticality": "We may be on the lookout for social scales in which powerlessness struggles under power; climbing; falling; precarious rest in gravity; architectures suggesting, and founded upon, upward thrust; camera movement in the vertical line, especially shooting from above and below; geographical upness and downness; the moral scale" (12). [...] consider the often metaphoric falls in the following promise of his insights into Vertigo: "I will consider seven aspects of verticality in this film: the social class position of Gavin Elster, Scottie Ferguson's low status as an unattached male, San Francisco as the locus of a dropping narrative, the verticality of Madeleine's 'attempted suicide,' the fall into Judy Barton's performance experienced by Scottie and by us, the redwood forest and our fall into the past there, and the fall of resemblance from surface characters to actors underneath them" (226).