Saturday, March 26, 2011

Uzumaki gives me Vertigo

What stuck out most to me while watching Uzumaki were the spirals- and this reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (one of my favorite movies of all time). Overtly, the beginning credits feature a spiral in an eye. This is seen, too in the eyes of the possessed people in Uzumaki. Vertigo’s main character Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) has been diagnosed with vertigo after witnessing his police buddy’s death over the ledge of a building. He’s off the force on sick leave when an old pal asks him to investigate, a.k.a. follow, his wife. Scottie begins to follow Madeline and eventually becomes madly in love and obsessed with her. Spirals are key to the theme of obsession in the film just like Uzumaki where people start becoming obsessed with spirals. Scottie sees spirals when he is having a vertigo spell and in his dreams, but spirals also appear in the physical world of the film- in the twist of her hair, the stairs in the church tower. The clouds spin in a spiral motion when a possessed person is cremated in the small Japanese town in Uzumaki. Spirals are interesting because they hypnotize you or make you feel crazy. (They also make me think of dizzy cartoon characters and the snake, Sir Hiss, from Disney’s Robin Hood cartoon that hypnotized his foes.) But ultimately, spirals signify madness in these films. The characters get sucked into psychosis that they cannot escape just like the way the spiral draws in your eye and keeps your attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment