Sunday, 3 August 2014

North by Northwest/Na sever severozápadnou linkou (1959)



"I've got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don't intend to disappoint them all by getting myself "slightly" killed."

"Mám prácu, sekretárku, matku, dve bývalé manželky a niekoľkých barmanov, ktorých živobytie odo mňa závisí. Neplánujem ich sklamať tým, že by som sa nechal "tak akosi" zabiť."



IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO WATCH PICK HITCHCOCK. 
At least that's a universal rule for me. Hitchcock was a sure thing when he was alive and the same goes for his works today. 
Another reason to watch North by Northwest is Cary Grant. In case you didn't know him he's not like any of those beautiful Hollywood model types. He was George Clooney before the was George Clooney. He had one of the most charismatic faces there have ever been on silver screen and age only added to his charm. He is a guy that gets onto your heart the first second you lay your eyes on him. If you're a man then you'll wish to be like him.

Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant," Grant is said to have replied, "So would I."                                                         /his profile on IMDB.com/

And for such a cool guy it must have been a pleasure to write a script. His characters are always mysterious brave guys with a great sense of humour and brilliant intellectual abilities. Cary Grant is that type that can pull off any joke like no one.
Roger (his character) is kidnapped and dragged into a huge mansion, where he is mistaken for George Kaplan. Since he refuses to cooperate, he's forced to down a painful lot of bourbon and then the group criminals try to kill him. When fleeing from the villains in a stolen car he is caught by the police, who of course assume that he was driving drunk. Somehow no one seems to believe his story and the villains covered up their traces very quickly.
On his fearless mission to find George Kaplan and set things right he has to endure various kinds of attacks of violent or sexy nature.
I can't say I'm content with the role of the female heroine, but if there has to be a femme fatale who's agenda is a mystery, then I'm happy that it's lovely Eve Marie Saint. They horny conversations seemed a little dumb but, as I said before, Cary Grant can pull out anything.
If there's something Hitchcock knew, it was creating those cinematic scenes that look like paintings and every actor, prop and piece of furniture has its special place in there. Check above: the dress is a cherry on top.
Moreover, what he basically invented for the film were the methods to create suspense and when you watch this film you see that those strategies are still used in cinematography today. For example camera shooting from the point of view of a character and other tricks that make you feel like you're part of the situation. Or more close-ups to faces and less words, because (and most filmmakers will never understand this) facial expressions speak volumes.
If you wish to know more check out these three videos on youtube.
The scene with numerous plane attacks on Roger in the middle of nowhere were undoubtedly inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and Pendulum short story.

PS: One of Hitchcock's favourite jokes was to make a little cameo in his films. This one is not an exception.




KEĎ NEVIETE, ČO SI POZRIEŤ, POZRITE SI HITCHCOCKA.
Aspoň pre mňa je to také univerzálne pravidlo. Hitchcock bol vo svojej dobe istota a je ňou aj dnes.
Ďalším dôvodom pozrieť si Na sever severozápadnou linkou je Cary Grant. Pokiaľ ho nepoznáte, netreba sa báť, že by bol nejaký model z Hollywoodu. Bol to George Clooney, predtým ako sa George Clooney vôbec narodil. Mal jednu z najcharizmatickejších tvárí, aké sa kedy sa striebornom plátne objavili a so stúpajúcim vekom bol len príťažlivejší. Bol to chlapík, do ktorého sa zaľúbite na prvý pohľad. A ak ste muž, tak si želáte byť ako on.
Raz mu novinár povedal: "Každý chce byť ako Cary Grant," Cary odpovedal: "Ja tiež." /jeho profil na iMBD.com/
Snažíte sa mi povedať, že som neodolateľný?
Písať scenár pre takého kúlového chlapíka musela byť byť ohromná zábava. Jeho postavy sú vždy záhadní a odvážni chlapíci s brilantnými intelektuálnymi schopnosťami a podmanivým zmyslom pre humor. Cary Grant je ten typ, čo dokáže podať vtip ako nikto.
Nie, mama, nepil som.
Rogera (jeho postava) je unesú do obrovskej rezidencie, kde si ho spletú s volákym Georgom Kaplanom. Kedže odmieta spolupracovať, nalejú doňho nepríjemné množstvo bourbonu a potom sa ho zloduchovia pokúsia zabiť. Na úteku v ukradnutom aute ho chytia policajti a tí samozrejme predpokladajú, že jednoducho ukradol auto a šoféroval opitý. Nikto neverí jeho vysvetleniam a mafiáni už dávno zakryli svoje stopy.
Roger sa rozhodne nájsť Georga Kaplana nech to stojí, čo to stojí, aby veci uviedol na pravú mieru, no musí sa ubrániť rôznym prekážkam, či už násilného alebo zvodného charakteru.
Nemôžem povedať, že by som bola spokojná s rolou hlavnej ženskej hrdinky, ale tu už musíme mať femme fatale so záhadnými pohnútkami, tak som rada, že je to Eve Marie Saint. Ich nadržané dialógy sa mi zdali tak akosi nezmyselné, ale ako som už povedala, Carymu prejde úplne všetko.
Ak sa Hitchcock v niečom vyznal, bolo to vytváranie záberov, ktoré vyzerali ako namaľované a každý herec, rekvizita, či kus nábytku bol na svojom mieste. Pozrite vyššie: šaty sú už len čerešničkou na torte. 
Navyše to, čo vlastne pre film vynašiel boli metódy ako vytvoriť napätie, ktoré sa vo filmoch používajú až dodnes. Napríklad kamera z pohľadu postavy a mnohé iné triky, ktoré vo vás vyvolajú pocit, že ste súčasťou deja. Alebo napríklad častejšie zameranie na tváre hercov a menej slov, pretože (a toto je niečo, čo by si už mohli uvedomiť filmári aj dnes) výrazy tváre vedia komunikovať emócie.
Ak by ste chceli vedieť viac a viete čo-to po anglicky, môžete mrknúť na tieto videá na youtube.
Scéna s opakovanými útokmi lietadla na Rogera uprostred ničoho (samé polia, žiadne domy, ale autobusy tam jazdia častejšie ako v Bratislave) boli nepochybne inšpirované Edgarom Allanom Poeom a jeho poviedkou Jama a kyvadlo.

PS: Jedným z Hitchcockovým obľúbených vtípkov bolo objavovať sa vo svojich ako komparz. Ani tento film nie je výnimkou.



2 comments:

  1. Excellent and well said. it is nice to find someone who agrees with me regarding the closest thing to a weak point in this excellent movie. The leading lady always seemed to be a let down when they spent so much time making sure everything was done so well. Why acquire a fine actress an give her so little to work with.
    HItchcock supposedly had a yen for blondes and the women in that time rarely got treated well even in the movies

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  2. Thanks Jim. Hitchcock was clearly not a feminist...
    I watched some more of his films - you can have a look and comment whether I missed any important stuff if you're interested:-))) (I think I should create a label for this guy)

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