Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Writing Plan

November 11, 2009

Alfred Hitchcock – Vertigo


A; Introduction:

1. Hitchcock

2. Vertigo

3. Actors -Kim Novak + James Stewart


B; Discussion

– Vertigo Effect

– Dolly Zoom

– German Expressionism

– Technique

– Music

– Voyeurism

– Interviews

-‘Hitchcocmk attack’

— Violence against blond women

— Feminism


C; Conclusion

-Hitchcock’s influence today

-Directors opinion

-Newly restored Vertigo




Research Findings

November 11, 2009

1. Vera Miles

2. Inspired by Vertigo effect

3. Edith Head

4. Feminism

5. Tania Modleski

6. The Women Who Knew Too Much

7. Bernard Herrmann

8. Jeff Bays

9. Voyeur

10. Rear Window

11. German Expressionism

(+ Fritz Lang, Film Noir)


November 11, 2009


Michael Munn: Jimmy Stewart The Truth Behind The Legend (1988)- passim, pages: 236-237


Thomas Leitch: The Encyclopedia of Albert Hitchcock (2002) – passim, pages: 37, 95, 173, 237, 269, 318-319, 354-359.



Rear Window DVD

Vertigo DVD

Vertigo DVD – Newly restored version / Production Notes

Vertigo DVD – Newly Restored DVD / Obsessed with Vertigo


Youtube sources:



Web Sources:,,20217339,00.html


Study Diary

November 11, 2009

01/11/09  Sunday

It was quite easy to create the blog, but quite hard to start it. For a week I didn’t have the guts to write into my blog. Between the possible choices that were given to us, I found it hard to pick the right piece, due to the positive quality found in all of them. I eventually came up with ‘Hitchcock’ mainly because of its magnificent director and my interest towards its story-line. At first I researched the background of the movie to get a basic understanding at what the story is about. I watched the clip several times and every single time there was more and more to discover. The first step of my research became obvious: the director, the actors, the effect, the music…

Notes: The biggest step is the first step!

02/11/09  Monday

In the previous day I acquired the basic knowledge and was intrigued by the events of the movie, which led me to watch its entirety and fully understand the concept behind the 3 minute scene. Today I started an other blog entry about James Stewart as well a second one of Hitchcock. The pieces aren’t finished yet (I’ve only visited websites), but I am still planning on going to the library to attain further information on the subject. I have an idea about making an interview with a stylist what she thinks about Kim Novak’s style…

Notes: Go step by step!

03/11/09  Tuesday

During my research while in the library I had a significant number of resources to choose from, but I discovered two books which were very useful:

After the ‘Research and Critical’ class I’ve made 8 more blog entries. I found several research which says, that Veronica Miles would had been Madeleine, but because of her pregnancy Hitchcock had to choose Kim Novak (but he had some concerns about her acting) I found it interesting, and I tried to make an entry about that topic.

Notes: I can’t handle 8 blog entries.

-Caution to self: Don’t try and complete all 8 tasks, instead just focus on 1.

04/11/09  Wednesday

Because of working, I couldn’t manage a new blog entry today, but I could read during my shift some articles about Hitchcock’s work both from the Guardian. I found them true and fresh, but I’m not sure if I want to put them into my blog.

Note: Every research is useful, and make your knowledge wiser. Don’t force to put every information if there is not place for them.

05/11/09 Thursday

Today I just realized that I haven`t added my personal opinions about the blog entries nor `my voice` as the author. Because yesterday I put too much information on the blog, now I have to make them shorter, and focus on the main points only. have some ideas about what Hitchcock said: “Actors are cattle” I am curios what my actor friend think about that.

Note: Don’t try to put everything in one entry, focus! Interview with actors, about the “cattle” quote(?)

06/11/09 Friday

I have two ideas about the I-map: use the Vertigo stairs or a tree and the branches could be new ideas. on may way to Birmingham I studied on the train. I have a plan to make interviews with the actors I know there.

Note: It is possible to learn during a long journey!

07/11/09  Saturday

Today I made the interviews with the actors, about Hitchcock’s quote and I expected different responses. As far as I think they were a bit sensitive about it, and none of them wanted to be treated as a cattle. I made some little changes in my blog entries, which I think was beneficial

Note: Always go back and research again!

08/11/09  Sunday

Today I deleted 2 blog entries, because I did not like them. (Mise-en-scene and a more detailed research about Vertigo) I still haven`t started my I-map.

Note: Decide about your I-map idea on time! Focus on the valuable entries, delete the less interesting entries.

09/11/09  Monday

As far as I have seen other blog entries, I have some concerns… during the class none of the `demonstrating blogs` was about Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I have to put more individual notes into my blog, but associated with my Hungarian past, I am slightly fearful to write my own words down (I prefer other’s quotes).

Today I double checked with Andy my idea about the I-map, he liked the idea, so I started to make drafts about it. I am still not sure which program I am going to use. Today is the day when I write down my individual blog entries as a blog entry. I also asked my colleague  to swap with me to leave tomorrow free, to have more time calmly finish my duties about the blog. I don’t want to be panicking on Wednesday. My plan is to be ready at tomorrow with everything!

Note: Make plans, when and which entry i spend time with. Don’t be afraid to write in English.

10/11/09 Tuesday

One day before the deadline. Of course I started to panicking, because I know how much I did, but I also know how much more field exist which I don`t have time to discover. I know this research process can go to the infinity  and beyond! But as I am a maximalist so I can`t be satisfied. I discovered The German Expressionism and Hitchcock’s Vertigo relationship. I wanted to do the research but I had no time to finish the entire entry. I put the title into bracelets, I am very interested in this topic, unfortunately, I found it quite late.

Today I also did my I-Map, I`m not fully satisfied with it yet, hopefully I will be tomorrow.

Note: manage your time!!! Don’t push the blog entries, just try your best!

11/11/09 Wednesday

Final day. I feel like I have never spent this much time in front of the computer. Today I reread my blog entries, did some final corrections. In this Study Diary Entry I would like to write about the achievements I reached.

It is obvious that the topics I mention in my blog, made my knowledge wider.

(Somebody told me at work that Alfred Hitchcock was Irish, and I could correct them with the biggest confidence!)

I also would like to mention, how hard was at the beginning to read and write in English. I think I could fight against it, and my English improved as well as my dictionary. (I learned at least 300 new words)

I would like to apologize the bad grammar here and there… (My english can show which entry I spent more or less time with)

As Peter Dukes wrote on Blackboard:

“Take pride and pleasure in your work. It should have been a fascinating journey”

I think he is right, for me it really was a fascinating journey.

I realized: this blog, and challenge can not be finish with a deadline. I think everybody will continue researching, I know I will.

Thank you,

Annamaria Berentz

(Hitchcock German Expressionism)

November 11, 2009
I found German Expressionism topic which I think is very important in connection with Vertigo. 
I couldn't manage to fully finish this blog entry,  I am just at the beginning of my research. 
If we had more time, i would definitely go and discover this path!

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born into a devoutly Catholic family in London, and his religious upbringing – with its attendant issues of guilt – would have a powerful influence on the psychological underpinnings of his later work. He was trained at a technical school, and initially gravitated to movies through art courses and advertising. He studied the work of other filmmakers, most notably the German expressionists, especially Fritz Lang. On visiting Germany’s UFA studios in the early ‘20s, Hitchcock was reportedly overwhelmed by the sheer size and scope of the sets used by Lang for his 1924 Siegfried. Following two films on which he served as screenwriter, Hitchcock made his directorial debut with The Pleasure Garden in 1925.

(…)Hitchcock absorbed much of the movement`s influence (reflected in his remark to Franciois Truffaut that “the screen rectangle must be charged with emotion”) through his observation of Murnau at work in 1924, but the expressionistic elements in his own films more closely paralleled those of Lang. Like Lang`s German films, several of Hitchcock`s silent films, especially The Ring, are heavily influenced by and expressionist aesthetic that raps the characters in a claustrophobic physical world from which they are hopelessly estranged by their very perceptions.(…)

(…)Although the dream and daydream sequences in Downhill, Champagne, and Spellbound and the wedding scene increasingly distorted by drinking in The Ring are essentially expressionistic, Hitchcock, again like Lang after he immigrated to America, increasingly aimed for a synthesis of realism and expressionism that would motivate effects of varying intensity within a predominantly realistic framework.(…)

(…)Hitchcock`s ultimate achievement in pure cinematic expressionism is VERTIGO, whose hypnotic visuals, soundtrack, performances, and narrative combine to suggest a troubled but unbroken dream from which its hero can never awake.

german expressionismjames-stewart-vertigo

It is easy to see the similarities between the 2 pictures.

(…)The contrast between realism and expressionism is more widely noted in Hitchcock`s visuals, which typically avoid the extreme stylization of both German silent cinema and its American heir Film Noir but still make strategic use of high contrast, deep shadow, and sharply raked angles. But the marriage between realism and expressionism takes many forms in the American films.(…)


Who was Fritz Lang?

What Film Noir is?

Alfred Hitchcock Encyclopedia page:95


November 11, 2009

My i-map illustrates the entire journey from my initial question regarding Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo clip to my final conclusions.

Like seeds grow into trees, my questions grew into different branches of thought that matured into the various themes represented in this film.  Every single branch illustrates a new topic.

In Vertigo,  Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart admired an old  tree.

So, I use this imagery to show how, as with time and the right environment the tree matures and bears fruit, so to do my questions flower into the various themes.

berentz anna I-MAP

Hitchcock the voyeur

November 9, 2009

Hitchcock discovered that nothing is more exciting for the audience, than being able to voyeur others. In connection with Vertigo we can detect with Jimmy Stewart. The brilliant technique of Hitchcock’s actually replaces us to be as excited as the character who detects after Kim Novak. He has an incredible ability to put us in the point of view of the leading character and he does it with considerable dexterity.

rear window


Hitchcock is fascinated with voyeurism the very beginning of  his career. (…) The ease with which the camera adopts his point of view and so encourages viewers to share his scopophilic pleasure, and the persistent fetishizing of the female object.(…) Hitchcock most baleful and extended plunge into the world of being-looked-at, the director returns to the specifically sexual gazes of Vertigo, Psycho, and Marnie, explicitly critical not only the death-seeking who watch the spectacle but also of the death-dealing entrepreneurs who stage it, anatomizing himself as ruthlessly as his audience. Hitchcock does not become more critical of his voyeurs as his career unfolds, but he does become more thoughtfully critical: Scottie Ferguson`s romantically obsessive gaze in Vertigo is more anguished than any of them, perhaps because the director is acknowledging the impossibility of his audience or himself looking away.

Thomas Leitch- The Encyclopedia of Alfred Hitchcock (358-359)

His movie, Rear Window based on this idea entirely. Jimmy Stewart looks, we can see what he sees than he reacts. “This is the ind of Hitchcock’s film making” – Curtis Hanson

He (Curtis Hanson) also spoke about Hitchcock movies alike. He was talking about his technical brilliance, his ability to tell a  story in a uniquely captivating way, his humor and what we have to deal with thematically: vouyerism, guilt, relationships and sexuality.

Not particularly successful at the time of its release, Vertigo has come to be recognized as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films, where his profounder obsessions are reinforced by his technical inventiveness. It can be argued that Hitchcock’s “greatness” comes only from the accident that his recurring obsession with voyeurism is the topic that best meshes with the ontology of the filmgoing experience. In any case, the longstanding argument over the superiority of his British vs. American periods looks to have been settled in favor of the latter. The less savory aspects of Hitchcock’s life revealed since his death come as little surprise if Rear Window, Vertigo , and Psycho are seen as a supreme voyeuristic trilogy.

—Scott Simmon


1. Who is Curtis Hanson?

2. How did Hitchcock make Rear Window?


Rear Window DVD

What other actors think about Hitchcock’s infamous “cattle” quote…

November 7, 2009

I had the opportunity to speak with a number of acting students in their final year at the Birmingham School of Acting.

Here’s what they had to say about it:

James O’Driscoll:

Andy Jones:

Kevin Varty:

To summarize none of them agreed with Hitchcock`s quote, but all of them adored Hitchcock`s talent.

Kevin Varty also got a part in a play where he will play Hitchcock himself in Hitchcock Blonde. That reminded me that in Central London THE 39 STEPS runs at the Criterion Theatre.

“A joyous version of the Hitchcock classic”
As the Sunday Times says about the play

Questions arising:

1. Hitchcock`s 39 Steps production is on the London West End. Can any theatre play give back `the Hichcock feeling`?