“Vertigo’s” Lasting Influence
Revisiting a milestone in filmmaking.
If you love film, you're most likely aware of Vertigo's impact on cinema. Alfred Hitchcock's heavily-referenced masterpiece has served as key inspiration for some of today's best filmmakers, like David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Martin Scorsese. In many ways, it almost singlehandedly changed the landscape of filmmaking. What is it about this film that makes it so important?
When Vertigo was released in 1958, it was met with mixed reviews. That’s hard to believe now, but back then, during a time when Hollywood was just beginning to transition out of its classical era, Vertigo was unlike anything else in theaters. From its use of the zolly to its lighting and color, Vertigo was an artistic exercise in craft and emotion and personal desires. It was unheard of in 1958.
Vertigo’s real inspirational value lies in what it did for filmmaking. It showed future filmmakers that they could make something personal and express themselves with a camera. It showed them that color and editing are just as important as dialogue. It showed everyone what film could be.