Ken Classics Week: Vertigo
A question for Vertigo. While out researching the mysterious Carlotta, Scottie and Midge pay a late afternoon visit to the Argosy Book Store. The camera, placed inside the store, records a dialogue between John, Midge, and owner Pops. Towards the end of the scene, the frame begins to darken, as though a cloud has passed across the sun. More than likely, Hitchcock was attempting to compress time with this subtle transition from day to night. Cut to: an exterior set as John and Midge exit the store. They move to the right, leaving Pops center frame in the darkened shop. In an instant, the lights inside the Argosy switch on, but how? A timer? According to Wikipedia, “Electromechanical timers reached a high state of development in the 1950s and 60s because of their extensive use in aerospace and weapons systems.” Does that mean they were made affordable to the general public by 1958? It had to have been intended as an expressionistic device, but for the life of me I can’t crack its meaning. See it and report back.