Presenting A Portrait In Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

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Filmmakers use specific shot composition to present the portrait as a character who can interact with others. Hitchcock, in Vertigo, uses the traditional Hollywood shot–reverse–shot: We see a character, then what the character sees, and then its reactions. In the museum scene, the magical and obsessing power of the portrait is conveyed by the camera movement. The camera switches between the female character and the painting. Indeed it first switches between the bouquet on the museum bench and the identical flower piece in the painting, and then it switches between Madeleine’s curl of hair and the identical curl of hair on the painted portrait. Madeleine turns out to be like an artistic creation herself as is the portrait of Carlotta Valdes. This technique makes it look like the painting is leaking on her, transforming her into Carlotta. Scottie can be associated with the painter of the portrait as he transforms Judy into a kind of Madeleine who answers his fantasy: the image of Carlotta because Scottie is more mesmerised by the painting than he is by Madeleine.…show more content…
Forward tracking shots, often from a point of view shot, also suggest a movement from the painting and it implies an intimate moment between the portrait and its spectator. Even though the visual aspect is important, to play even more on the living aspect of the painting, the filmmakers also use the music. In the museum scene of Vertigo, the magical feeling of the scene is conveyed because of the editing but also because of the score that matches the different cuts of the
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