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Friday, January 20, 2012
VERTIGOED CONTEST YIELDS HERRMANN WARP
AS ONE ENTRY REPLACES 'OBSESSION' CLIMAX WITH HERRMANN'S 'VERTIGO' CUE

Vertigoed: Brian De Palma's "Obsession" from Brandon Brown on Vimeo.

Brian De Palma famously started off on a treacherous foot with Bernard Herrmann when he showed the composer a rough cut of Sisters sprinkled with cues from Herrmann's scores for various Alfred Hitchcock films. Herrmann immediately told De Palma to turn off the music, because, he said, he couldn't possibly hear the music for this new movie in his head while listening to works he'd composed for other films. The two hit it off, however, and Herrmann returned to score De Palma's Vertigo-inspired Obsession. Herrmann's music for Obsession is widely considered one of his greatest works, as is, of course, his score for Vertigo.

In the wake of Kim Novak's recent cry of "rape" over the use of one of Herrmann's cues from Vertigo as soundtrack for a scene in Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist, Indiewire's Press Play blog held a contest, called "Vertigoed," that concluded earlier today. As editor Matt Zoller Seitz explained, "Novak's word choice was unfortunate -- more than one person, including yours truly, said that was akin to somebody sitting through the Star Wars prequels and witlessly declaring, 'George Lucas raped my childhood.' Press Play contributor and film editor Kevin Lee followed this Novak/Lucas line of thought to its logical -- or illogical -- end. Just for the hell of it, he matched the Vertigo cue used in The Artist with the last three minutes of the Death Star battle in Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, uploaded it, and sent the link to several Press Play contributors to get their reactions. And it's here that things got interesting: rather than generate cheap laughs at the expense of Novak, Lucas, The Artist or Star Wars, the mash-up inspired delight. Simply put: Kevin's experiment confirmed that Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo score is so passionate and powerful that it can elevate an already good scene -- and a familiar one at that -- to a higher plane of expression. Score one for the master of film scoring!"

So these were the rules to the contest:

1. Take the same Herrmann cue -- "Scene D'Amour," used in this memorable moment from Vertigo -- and match it with a clip from any film. (You can nick the three-minute section from one of Kevin's mash-ups if it makes things easier.) Is there any clip, no matter how silly, nonsensical, goofy or foul, that the score to Vertigo can't ennoble? Let's find out!

2. Although you can use any portion of "Scene D'Amour" as your soundtrack, the movie clip that you pair it with cannot have ANY edits; it must play straight through over the Herrmann music. This is an exercise in juxtaposition and timing. If you slice and dice the film clip to make things "work," it's cheating. MONTAGES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

3. Upload the result to YouTube, Vimeo, blipTV or wherever, email the link to pressplayvideoblog@gmail.com along with your name, and we'll add your mash-up to this Index page.

The above Obsession entry, by Brandon Brown, creates a sort of Bernard Herrmann mind warp, but actually works pretty well. It came in at number 86 in the contest. Number one was Kevin B. Lee's entry for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.


Posted by Geoff at 8:53 PM CST
Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012 8:55 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post

Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 2:55 AM CST

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://rado.bg

Interesting to see clips vertigoed AND sweded.

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