Jan 9, 2012

STFU, Kim Novak.

I simply *had* to post using that headline, because it's probably going to be appropriate only once or twice in my Life.

So, I haven't seen "The Artist" yet - in large part due to the fact that is playing NOwhere near Amishville, PA (also, Weinsteins, the official film website should take a page from Fox Searchlight and list future opening dates/cities) - but am aware that it is a near-silent film-about-filmmaking. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to know that, generally, when writers/directors make films-about-filmmaking, they are going to reference, pay tribute to and otherwise homage/rip-off other movies. There's a grad-school thesis just waiting to be made simply by doing an annotated version of "Hugo."

If you haven't seen Dujardin and Michel Hazavanicus's work yet, get thee to Netflix Streaming to watch "OSS 117" for a pitch-perfect recreation and simultaneous parody of early Bond films. So, while I haven't seen "The Artist," I have a vague idea of what they're going to try for. Now, apparently, one of those filmic quotations/homages in the movie is the use of Bernard Herrmann's iconic score for "Vertigo" during a crucial sequence. Now, one would think this would be no big deal considering that a quick look at the composer's IMDB page shows that that fine piece of music has been featured in everything from "A Single Man" to "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle."

No biggie, unless you're Kim Novak. According to Deadline (which, ugh, I know), she is none too pleased . And by none too pleased, I mean, she feels like hearing "Scene d'Amour" makes her the equivalent of Lisbeth Salander:

Los Angeles: “I want to report a rape,” said Kim Novak, the legendary star of “Vertigo,” “Picnic,” and many other revered classics. “My body of work has been violated by ‘The Artist.’ This film took the Love Theme music from “Vertigo” and used the emotions it engenders as its own. Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart can’t speak for themselves, but I can. It was our work that unconsciously or consciously evoked the memories and feelings to the audience that were used for the climax of ‘The Artist.’”

Novak went on to say that “The Artist” could and should have been able to stand on its own. “There was no reason for them to depend on Bernard Herrmann’s score from ‘Vertigo’ to provide more drama. ‘Vertigo’s’ music was written during the filming. Hitchcock wanted the theme woven musically in the puzzle pieces of the storyline. Even though they did given Bernard Herrmann a small credit at the end, I believe this kind of filmmaking trick to be cheating. Shame on them!”

This kind of “borrowing” could portend a dangerous future for all artists in film. “It is morally wrong of people in our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what the original work was intended. It is essential that all artists safeguard our special bodies of work for posterity, with their individual identities intact and protected."


YOU DIDN'T WRITE IT, BITCH. Also, hearing a piece of music you DID NOT COMPOSE is NOT the equal of rape. Here's Wagner's prelude to Tristan und Isolde - which a sharp-eared listener will notice bears a remarkable, sometime note-for-note similarity to Herrmann's score.

This is as bad as Johnny Depp comparing posing for pictures in a glossy magazine to rape. Celebs? Stop comparing anything to rape EXCEPT actual rape. Seriously. Stop.

In sum, shut the fuck up, Kim Novak.