The camera tracks two cars driving left to right along Fort Point Road in San Francisco, a long shot. The front car pushes the right edge of the frame, the rear car pulls at the left. After a while, ten seconds or so, the camera lets the front car go and draws in on the rear, tracking its swing to the right where it stops beside the other car, the Golden Gate bridge towering in the background. Gorgeous sequence, one of about five hundred in this film.
Vertigo--and Hitchcock, its director--has been a favourite since I first saw it upon its re-release with four other Hitchcock films in about 1982. As years passed, I was delighted, puzzled at first, to see that my children enjoyed Hitchcock films too. Odd content maybe, but the precise story-telling--fabulous economy of story-telling motion--is what hooked us.
Yesterday's Vertigo came from the big screen at the Galaxy. For a while I was the only one in the theatre, a creepy thrill all its own. Finally about a dozen other fans trickled in. Despite a couple of howlers from moments that have not aged well, the film seemed more glorious than ever.
Never mind the plot, dig the camera movement and Bernard Herrman's score, just for starters.