Vertigo Essay Research Paper In one of

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Vertigo Essay, Research Paper In one of the countless reviews of Vertigo the inevitable subject of obsession was stated in the following manner: that film is not a study of obsession, but the obsession itself. In other words, the phenomenon of obsession is present in it not as an outside object of “investigation”, but as the film’s own intrinsic characteristic. Therefore, it does not investigate this phenomenon but “produces” it, i.e. instigates obsession. Such inversion, perhaps unusual and open to a variety of readings, gives me an opportunity and excuse to unassumingly support this idea about the obsession associated with Vertigo. Of course, I have no doubt that my experience is in any way singular and original “You were the copy” or Scottie the modernist In

the last third of the film, after he had seen in the mirror the Carlotta Valdez’s necklace around the neck of Judy Barton, Scottie Ferguson’s detective light bulb instantly lit: he reconstructed the core of the whole story and concluded that Madeleine was actually the copy. He himself uses this word in an emotional and dramatic monologue on the stairs of the San Juan Batista mission: You were the copy! The copy, of course, presumes the original in relation to which it is a copy. There exists, therefore, another Madeleine, one should say the real one, the original – but the one we do not see. Except in a short sequence at the top of the bell tower (note that it is shown in a flashback as the fragment of Judy Barton’s recollection), the original is visually missing from the

film, omitted. It is present in a verbal/conceptual form, as a significant part of the narrative, it is talked about, something is found out about it, for instance that it lives in the country and rarely comes to town, but that is all. Thus Madeleine is the copy of the absent, and therefore in a certain way non-existent original. Or one could say that there are actually two originals with the same name: one is the “real” Madeleine, Gavin Elster’s wife, whose appearance and personality remain unknown; the other is Madeleine who becomes Scottie’s obsession, a character, personage invented and created by Elster. However, she does not imitate the “real” Madeleine but just nominally plays her part. The only thing they have in common is the name, there is some physical

resemblance of their visible features, but they completely differ in the essence, otherwise the whole project would not be necessary. That is why Madeleine is, simultaneously, an authentic creation, a kind of an artistic, artificial construct (albeit of flesh and blood), sophisticated project of deception and seduction, the copy who “acts” the nonexistent prototype and in an inexplicable way gains the aura of the original itself, becomes unique in the perverse game of simulation of the nonexistent model. The copy without the original – this contradictory (?) relation finds its “denouement” in the inversion whose outcome is that the copy becomes the original. Madeleine is a being of double nature; she is the one and the other, original and copy, reality and

representation, reality and illusion, truth and lie. It is a being of multiple and fluid identity, visible and invisible at the same time. It is therefore difficult to say in what or in who had really Scottie fallen in love with, and what actually is that “obscure object” of his desire. In such dualism every answer is the right one. If she had already existed as a representation/image/icon, if she actually never really lived, one should say that Madeleine also could not have died. She actually just vanishes, becomes invisible, and it happens twice (same as she was “born”/became two times), almost in the same way and at the same place. But the second vanishing was at the same time Judy Barton’s death, the death of the body in which Madeleine “lived”. Although