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Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ gets recreated with found footage

Guy Maddin leads the project to re-imagine the suspense masterpiece.

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.”

The Green Fog.
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A special shade of blue inspired these musicians to create a musical piece

Thanks to an interesting neurological condition called synesthesia.

On certain forums on the Internet, heated discussions revolve around the colour of number 9 or the sound of strawberry cupcake. And most forum members mount a passionate defence of their points of view on these topics. These posts provide insight into a lesser known, but well-documented, sensory condition called synesthesia - simply described as the cross wiring of the senses.

Synesthetes can ‘see’ music, ‘taste’ paintings, ‘hear’ emotions...and experience other sensory combinations based on their type. If this seems confusing, just pay some attention to our everyday language. It’s riddled with synesthesia-like metaphors - ‘to go green with envy’, ‘to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth’, ‘loud colours’, ‘sweet smells’ and so on.

Synesthesia is a deeply individual experience for those who have it and differs from person to person. About 80 different types of synesthesia have been discovered so far. Some synesthetes even have multiple types, making their inner experience far richer than most can imagine.

Most synesthetes vehemently maintain that they don’t consider their synesthesia to be problem that needs to be fixed. Indeed, synesthesia isn’t classified as a disorder, but only a neurological condition - one that scientists say may even confer cognitive benefits, chief among them being a heightened sense of creativity.

Pop culture has celebrated synesthetic minds for centuries. Synesthetic musicians, writers, artists and even scientists have produced a body of work that still inspires. Indeed, synesthetes often gravitate towards the arts. Eduardo is a Canadian violinist who has synesthesia. He’s, in fact, so obsessed with it that he even went on to do a doctoral thesis on the subject. Eduardo has also authored a children’s book meant to encourage latent creativity, and synesthesia, in children.

Litsa, a British violinist, sees splashes of paint when she hears music. For her, the note G is green; she can’t separate the two. She considers synesthesia to be a fundamental part of her vocation. Samara echoes the sentiment. A talented cellist from London, Samara can’t quite quantify the effect of synesthesia on her music, for she has never known a life without it. Like most synesthetes, the discovery of synesthesia for Samara was really the realisation that other people didn’t experience the world the way she did.

Eduardo, Litsa and Samara got together to make music guided by their synesthesia. They were invited by Maruti NEXA to interpret their new automotive colour - NEXA Blue. The signature shade represents the brand’s spirit of innovation and draws on the legacy of blue as the colour that has inspired innovation and creativity in art, science and culture for centuries.

Each musician, like a true synesthete, came up with a different note to represent the colour. NEXA roped in Indraneel, a composer, to tie these notes together into a harmonious composition. The video below shows how Sound of NEXA Blue was conceived.


You can watch Eduardo, Litsa and Samara play the entire Sound of NEXA Blue composition in the video below.


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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.