Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin’s Berlin Forum entry The Green Fog re-creates Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) with found footage from about 100 movies and television series set in San Francisco, The Hollywood Reporter said. Commissioned by Stanford Live and the San Francisco International Film Festival, The Green Fog is a tribute to the city in which one of Hitchcock’s best-loved thrillers is set. Maddin and co-directors Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson have used only the opening shot of Vertigo in their reinterpretation.
Vertigo chronicled the story of former police detective John Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart), who is forced into early retirement because he develops agoraphobia in the line of duty. Trouble ensues when he is hired as a private investigator to follow an acquaintance’s wife.
Since the makers of The Green Fog were not allowed to use any of the actual footage of Vertigo, they used shots from several iconic films, including Basic Instinct (1992) and Dirty Harry (1971), to depict the narrative of Hitchcock’s classic. “It seemed too tempting not to fiddle with perfection in that way,” Evan Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter. “Maybe it’s being bad little boys.”
The Hollywood Reporter said, “For much of Green Fog, actual talking is edited out of dialogue scenes, leaving onscreen characters to communicate via jarring jump cuts and pregnant pauses”
Maddin’s films The Forbidden Room (2015) and The Saddest Music in the World (2003). The director told The Hollywood Reporter that he was optimistic about the commercial prospects of The Green Fog. “Of all the movies I’ve made, this film just seems to be the biggest crowd-pleaser, strangely,” he said. “It’s an art form but also entertainment, and that feels pretty great to me.”