Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vertigo: Alfred Hitchcock's Edifice to Obsession

a video blog by guest contributor Brandon Kyle Goco

Brandon Goco, guest host of Turner Classic Movies’ monthly podcast series for October 2011, is both a film student and a movie fanatic. He has penned well over a hundred individual blogs for the TCM Classic Film Union, has his own blog, Brandon Kyle the Cinephile, and has only recently taken up video blogging. At the age of 20, Brandon is currently attending a California State University, majoring in film studies and working part-time as the production coordinator and general manager for the university’s local television station. He has dreams of becoming a film director or film preservationist some day.

Brandon on Vertigo (he recommends his video be viewed in 720p):


  1. Brandon, you hit the nail on the head with this clip - you really captured so much of the enigmatic greatness of "Vertigo" in a very brief ammount of time (I think I'll be watching your clip multiple times because it's like a quick, condensed injection of the Vertigo-vibe). It's not just remarkable that someone of your age has already developed an appreciation of this kind of filmmaking, but that you also seem to pickup on so much of the deeper themes of "Vertigo" that can often escape a viewer, no matter what his age. I love how you hit on the cyclical, non-linear aspect of the film, which is probably, as you pointed out, one of the sources of it's mystery but also the confounding effect it has on some viewers. There is the Nietzschian, existential aspect of the Eternal Return that I feel is also at play in this great work. I have to say that I agree with everything you say and that "Vertigo" happens to also be my personal favorite of Hitchcock's great body of work. You've done right by the Master and I'm sure you've made your mother proud.

  2. Brandon I loved you Vlog on Vertigo, as Motorcycle Boy stated, you captured the essence of the film and showed many of the essential scenes. The scene vignettes helps us to appreciate the pure visual and auditory masterpiece that is Vertigo, while your narrative captures the obsession and uniqueness that makes up this Hitchcock film. Bravo for this outstanding contribution to Lady Eve's Month of Vertigo.

  3. Another amazing vlog by Brandon! I love how you explored the film from the technique and the use of camera and effect.

  4. Brandon ~ an excellent and praiseworthy contribution to “A Month Of Vertigo,” but I knew you would give us both. I cannot say the quality of your analysis and your editing is a revelation to me, because this is exactly what I have come to expect from your vblog presentations and your writing. However, I hope you don’t mind if I gush, just a little bit. Your presentation reminds me of the somewhat menacing problem of studying poetry in college: a medium that is emotional by nature is often diminished in the attempt to explain the poem. You have effortlessly combined the elements of the film’s story previously addressed: characters; inspiration; locations; music and plot and created a gem of visually poetry. I find, in the case of “Vertigo,” that rather than diminishing the appeal of each of these elements, repeated viewings has revealed the more deeply elusive nature of Hitchcock’s vision. You have captured the quality of the film to be both familiar and obscure, and the madness of joy and the joy of madness at the heart of the story, which is so difficult to put into words. I found myself thinking numerous times during your review, this is such a haunting story; I’ve got to see this film. Bravo! On the more practical side of things, I’m wondering if you have any guesses on what Hitchcock is carrying in his hand. I thought it might be a carrying case for a musical instrument, and oddly flugelhorn came to mind. By the way, have you had the opportunity to see “The Artist” yet, and what did you think of the film?

  5. What a talented young man you are, Brandon. I enjoyed watching your vlog and found your analysis fascinating. While I can't agree that this is Hitch's finest film, I can agree that he was the master of suspense and a master storyteller. Great work!

  6. I am obsessed with this clip - every scene just perfectly chosen. A wonderful appreciation. This film is so rich, with so many layers, it is endlessly fascinating. Bravo, Brandon! And thank you so much Lady Eve for a fantastic series.

  7. well really captured the "essence", which is a series of set pieces with tremendous mood made manifest by the music, camera, color and little dialogue!!

  8. Brandon, you said so much about Hitchcock's ode to "obsession and voyeurism" that it's impossible for me to comment on your individual points. But I will say how fine your impressionistic use of images and scenes from the movie was and how great the pictorial quality was. Having seen the movie several times, I found these images extraordinarily evocative. I can only imagine how intriguing they would be for someone who hasn't seen the movie and how much they would pique such a person's curiosity. When I saw that your vlog was nearly eight minutes long I had some trepidation, but the images were so hypnotic and the commentary so interesting that those eight minutes seemed to zoom by. An impressive oral-video essay that added a new perspective to "A Month of VERTIGO" and formed a nice complement to the impressive work already done for this event.

  9. Brandon,
    You are a young man with a great appreciation for and understanding of film - as well as a great creative gift. You certainly covered a lot of ground on Hitchcock and "Vertigo" in a short amount of time here and hit on many important points. One that stood out for me, as it stands out for me whenever I watch "Vertigo," is the fact that Hitchcock the master storyteller was more interested in the visual impact of "Vertigo" than he was in the plausibility of its plot. In fact, some have said that the 'MacGuffin' in "Vertigo" is the plot.

    A very finely wrought piece, Brandon. Your contribution has added a truly unique facet to "A Month of VERTIGO." Thank you so much.

  10. Thank you everyone for finding the time to watch my little video and for your kind words. I made this vlog with a lot of love and took theladyeve as an inspiration to do my very best. Like everyone who contributed to this event, I see Vertigo is a mesmerizing, magical film. Yet, actually it took me several forced viewings for me to really appreciate it as I do now. I admit, once in my life (must have been in Junior High at the time) I hated it. Vertigo took its time to grow on me, and I'm thankful that it did.

    Motorcycle Boy - Your comment really made my day (and apparently my mom's too). :) Its incredible that today's technology can support such a crazy idea as a "video blog" and am able to have an audience to view it on the internet. Thank you for your nice words. Making these things can be time consuming, but comments like yours makes the process all worthwhile.

    Christian - I went the extra mile to including as much of Vertigo's magical imagery. I'm happy that you enjoyed the trip! So much of Vertigo lies in its images and music.

    Hepclassic - It is so wonderful that someone from the TCM CFU is keeping updated with this wonderful series hosted by theladyeve! Its great to see a familiar face... I mean screename. :) Hope to see you at the bar soon. ;D

    Whistlingypsy - My friend... what can I say, but you are an inspiration as well. Your comments on my vlog are so meaningful. I LOVED your blog on the music of Vertigo. I'd love to work with you again on another one of these fun events! And yes, I saw The Artist. Strangely, I kind of understand where Novak is coming from. While I like the film immensely, I think the film would have done better if it just had an original composition for the climax. I couldn't get Vertigo out of my mind when the music was playing at the end. lol.

    Kim - Thank you for checking out my vlog. Vertigo certainly does not have a believable plot, but it surely is one of Hitch's most visually arresting picture. Which is your favorite Hitch film? :D

    FlickChick - I'm so happy that you liked my video! And certainly love your choice of the word "obsessed." ;) Take care my friend.

    Doctom - Eisenstein could not have put it better. ;)

    R.D. Finch - I know what you mean about 8 minutes (at least in youtube form) being intimidating. Thank you for watching! I loved your opening blog for the event! :)

    The Lady Eve - THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. Thank you for inviting me to contribute to this wonderful event. You are one of the most incredible people I've ever "not" met. lol. This event would be nothing without you. You did a fine job directing this behemoth together. :)

    WELL, I guess I'll leave the stage now. The music is starting to play. haha. A MONTH OF VERTIGO is coming to an end soon, but we have a few big blogs to leave off with a bang! Cannot wait to check them out! :D

  11. What a great job, Brandon. I also really enjoyed watching your vlog. I agree.. that this is one of Hitch's finest films. I'm really looking forward to watching your future videos. I'm one of your newest fans. :)

  12. You're welcome, Brandon, and I hope you're up for taking part in a few more of projects like "A Month of VERTIGO."

  13. Brandon - Picasso once said, "youth has no age". You've shown the work and passion (not to mention the talent) that has been much on display this past "Month of VERTIGO". I also appreciate your fearless pursuit of letting it all hang out (an expression that shows how far back I go). I hope you continue to stay as engaged and courageous as you currently are - there's no reason you can't. It was interesting that you hated "Vertigo" when you first saw it (the original critics who dissed it didn't have the excuse of being in junior high at the time) but then pursued it's elusive nature to the point that you're now, like many of us, drinking deep from the well. It's funny how works like this can take time to be absorbed - critics spat on Melville when he came out with "Moby Dick" and called it a bunch of "mad ramblings" - it practically ended his career while simultaneously making him immortal. Another Picasso quote: "the chief enemy of creativity is good taste" - that's another whole issue. Anyway, I look forward to your further musings and sharp editing skills (I've watched this video blog of yours a number of times - it's entertaining, stimulating and good for the nerves - a veritable tonic). I hope you don't go too far from the stage as, speaking for myself, any kind of encore remarks would be much appreciated.