Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kim Novak Lashes Out?


According to an article I ran across in The Mainichi Daily News, Kim Novak feels “violated” because music from the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece film “Vertigo” is used in “The Artist” (the new  French black-and-white homage to the silent-film era and expected to be a front-runner at this year's Academy Awards).

Violated? It’s not as if she co-composed the film’s astounding score, and I’ll make the safe assumption that the film’s score wasn’t being piped onto the set during her scenes in the film. 

Let me mention that I am a tremendous fan of both Hitchcock and Novak and “Vertigo” is truly an outstanding work of cinematic art. Masterfully directed by Hitchcock, the magical and skillful performances by Novak and the late great Jimmy Stewart are integral parts of the film’s mystique and allure.


That being said, I find this reaction by the now faded, but still treasured, star over the top. Was this really worth having a “statement released by her manager” to document her disdain?

According to the article, Kim feels that her "body of work has been violated by 'The Artist.' This film took the love theme music from 'Vertigo' and used the emotions it engenders as its own. Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart can't speak for themselves, but I can. It was our work that unconsciously or consciously evoked the memories and feelings to the audience that were used for the climax of 'The Artist.'"

Perhaps, but I sense that this smites more so of bitter grapes then anger over music. Novak was at the pinnacle of her film career in the early to mid 1960’s. She made a handful of forgettable theater and television films in 70’s and early 80’s culminating in her last film appearance, 1991’s “Liebestraum”. According to Wikipedia however, “owing to battles with the director over how to play the role,” in that film, her scenes were cut. “Novak later admitted in a 2004 interview that the film was a mistake.”

In 2007 she said in an interview, that said that she would consider returning to the screen "if the right thing came along."  Personally, I would love to see her on the big screen in a meaningful role. Where’s Taratino when you need him?

That interview was over 5 years ago. Perhaps Kim felt that some attention getting, rattling of the cage of the film industry was in order over what she considers to be a cinematic no-no in connection to a master film that she starred in over 50 years ago.

It isn’t.


Gregory said...

I do see one point she makes, though. If someone were to use the music from Gone With The Wind and place it in another film...our memory knows that score is GWTW. Used in another film, that isn't true anymore and the unique identity is gone. Perhaps they should have budgeted for their OWN music? After all, doesn't everyone know an indie band?

Lydia said...

I see both sides, but still wish she had bit her lip on this one.

Personal caveat: my mother was a blackjack dealer at Harold's Club prior to my birth through my youth, and was an extra in the film shot there and around Reno that starred Kim Novak. 5 Against the House. I was about 5 years old when it happened so don't remember the event, per se. But I got my hands on a VHS copy of the movie some decades ago and was able to surprise her with it prior to her death. Since then, my husband and I keep mentioning that we should get it on dvd so we can better see her four shots as she passes in front of the camera inside the casino. I see it is available for online viewing at something called "Crackle" but I didn't like the user agreement there so left the site.

This glorious poster from The Artist makes me all the more anxious to see the film. Here in podunk Oregon it has not yet arrived (probably has in Portland, however). :)