Monday, April 17, 2017

Guy Maddin’s The Green Fog, Hitchcock's Vertigo remade using found footage

How did you assemble The Green Fog?

At Christmastime, I had six weeks off from Harvard, where I teach filmmaking, and my collaborators and I had 200 titles that we wanted to check out, from Erich von Stroheim’s Greed to Mrs. Doubtfire. We next tried to find equivalents of what we saw in Vertigo in these other movies and also archival footage from the Prelinger Archives, stuff dating back from before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Working closely with a fair use lawyer to make sure there’s no plagiarism, we used small bits until we Frankensteined together something, working so closely, as Hitchcock did with his composer Bernard Herrmann, with Kronos Quartet to create a kind of big, operatic, emotional dark viewing experience that matches, chord for chord and shot for shot, Hitchcock’s masterpiece. Then Evan and Galen cut the film back in Winnipeg, while I was back at Harvard teaching.


Since so many directors have paid tribute to or plagiarized from Vertigo, there are oftentimes shots that pop up from other San Francisco movies that already resemble Vertigo.