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And Introducing Seth Rogen as Cary Grant in North by Northwest!
February 8, 2008 12:34 AM   Subscribe

Hitchcock Classics as illustrated in the 2008 Hollywood Portfolio from Vanity Fair.
posted by dhammond (34 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't remember Strangers on a Train being a movie about Drag Kings?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:32 AM on February 8, 2008




AWESOME. Really so good. I love Marnie so much.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:43 AM on February 8, 2008


Also, thanks dhammond! I was happy to see the higher-res versions. I think this one is my favorite just because I adore Jennifer Jason Leigh and she looks so fabulous. I could have done without Keira "Fish Mouth Sappy Face" Knightly but you have to take the good with the bad I suppose. (And poor Rene Zellweger. She looks like she's sixty years old in this photo.)
posted by LeeJay at 1:49 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


How strange. Hitchcock stripped down to a few stylistic tics as set dressing for a group of actors who, for the most part, Hitchcock would never have cast. What next? Scenes from the Battleship Potemkin used as a setting for a children's show?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:53 AM on February 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


how do u know i had a good halloween?
i saw someone dressed as tippi hedron fron 'the birds'
best. costume. ever.
work, jody.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:59 AM on February 8, 2008


What next? Scenes from the Battleship Potemkin used as a setting for a children's show?

I have a non-disclosure deal, but suffice it to say Mister A.Z. I would rather you drop this line of inquiry.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:01 AM on February 8, 2008


I love AZ. He's sober at the moment. That's admirable.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:29 AM on February 8, 2008


This is awesome.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:48 AM on February 8, 2008


Renee Zellwegger brings the fierce...or does she?

The Rebecca tribute is probably my favorite. I do wish they'd found someone else to be in the To Catch a Thief pic with RDJ, though. (Yes, I know about Iron Man).
posted by pxe2000 at 4:10 AM on February 8, 2008


Wow, I really expected to hate that in a crazy Gus Van Sant way, but some of those are pretty great. I don't recall wanting to see the plane mow Cary Grant down, though. So that's new.

(And just to echo a little here -- Rebecca and Marnie and Rear Window yes, and why does Renee Zellweger look like she's two hundred years old? Plus...um...who's the girl in Psycho?)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:40 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


How strange. Hitchcock stripped down to a few stylistic tics as set dressing for a group of actors who, for the most part, Hitchcock would never have cast.

Ha, do you think? I can easily see Paltrow as one of his ice-cold, subtly histrionic blondes. And Zellweger in a pair of swoopy black frames glasses getting the breath squeezed out of her. None of the men though, I agree; they all do look diminished in b&w, and the suits hang strangely on them.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 4:46 AM on February 8, 2008


I think Hitchcock would have dug Bardem. I always thought that the Coen brothers were bastardized stepchildren of Hitchcock. In a good way.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 4:54 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, Renee Zellweger already looks like Meryl Streep.
posted by Eideteker at 5:42 AM on February 8, 2008


I actually think that Zellwigger looks really classic and dramatically beautiful in that picture... Admittedly quite a departure from how I usually see her. lhi is certainly correct about the men. But then again, I'm not there are any Cary Grants anymore.
posted by Muttoneer at 5:51 AM on February 8, 2008


Jody Foster looks great in that shot. But Renée Zellweger steals the crown for most emotion in her shot.

Good post.
posted by Argyle at 5:59 AM on February 8, 2008


WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO CARY!?
(Vanity fair has amazing photography. Why don't I ever read it?)
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:37 AM on February 8, 2008


The girl in Psycho
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:40 AM on February 8, 2008


kittens: The girl in Psycho, Marion Cotillard, gave one of the best performances I've ever seen playing Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.
posted by ryanhealy at 6:45 AM on February 8, 2008


(Vanity fair has amazing photography. Why don't I ever read it?)
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:37 AM on February 8


Because they do things like replacing Cary Grant with Seth Rogen.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:24 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because they do things like replacing Cary Grant with Seth Rogen.

Remember in North By Northwest where suddenly that plane started chasing him?? And he was all like "OOPS!! WTF??"
posted by hermitosis at 7:59 AM on February 8, 2008


FUCKIN PLANE MADE ME DROP MA BONG BROS!
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:36 AM on February 8, 2008


Wasn't there a black guy in Lifeboat?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:38 AM on February 8, 2008


clearly one of Vanity Fair's greatest moments -- this Hitchcock thing is a perfect satire of what Hollywood has become: expensively made, soulless, dumb, commercial reenactements of actual, old moments of great genius. too bad VF's intent is not satirical, they take themselves too seriously for that (from Spy to this, the kind of thing he was so good at mocking once upon a time: but then Graydon Carter is laughing all the way to the bank).

to have the balls to call Norton & Sons to be able to shoehorn a nobody like Seth Rogen into a perfect replica of the Cary Grant suit, and then proceed to mock the sequence of pure unadulterated art that was North By Northwest's crop duster scene by replacing the most iconic male actor ever (well, it's either him or Brando) with somebody who could have at the most cleaned Grant's toilet is, as I said, a perfect metaphor of today's Hollywood system.

Zellweger's kabuki visage, rendered completely artificlal, paralyzed and unrecognizable by a mortal cocktail made of years of plastic surgery, crash diets, Botox and anorexia nervosa, tells you essentially all you need to know about this Hitchcock "hommage". But then, Hollywood and VF are cheerful allies in the battle against anything remotely original, or interesting, or vital, in the world of modern entertainment. nobody does middlebrow the way these guys do. they should get a new category of the Oscar for that.
posted by matteo at 8:40 AM on February 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


These photos are amazingly well done. Thanks.
posted by geeky at 8:56 AM on February 8, 2008


Eh, Hollywood hasn't "become" shit; Hollywood's always been a crap factory. Every generation produces great filmmakers, and Hitchcock was one. There are great filmmakers now, too. I have to wonder whether, in fifty years, people will look at the Coens or David Fincher or P.T. Anderson and bemoan the lack of brilliance contemporary to themselves, history having swept away garbage like, say, The Hottie and the Nottie.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:00 AM on February 8, 2008


Hollywood's always been a crap factory

very easy to prove wrong. Hollywood's always been commercial, it's very different. the silent era, back in Hollywood's infancy, has generated work that -- on average -- still impresses for its genius, especially in the comedies obviously (from Harold Lloyd to Chaplin to Mack Sennet -- and those were the average products). with the advent of the talkies, very quickly the Golden Era arrived: from the early 1930s to 1945, at the apex of the much-maligned studio era, Hollywood has churned out timeless masterpieces of slapstick comedy, film noir, adventure. never under the delusion to create "art", they nevertheless created the highest quality for many, many years. Hitchcock, it's necessary to remember, the Americans considered just a proficient artisan for many, many years until the French discovered that he was, actually, a master.

but yes, nowadays Hollywood is indeed a crap factory, it has been since the late 1970s, with few shining exceptions. blame TV, blame the changed nature of the business (it's all about big opening weekends). there are books about the decline of Hollywood, many of them good. but since the 1960s the really interesting cinema has been made elsewhere: it's constantly shifting East, to France and Italy at first, and now it's mostly about Eastern Europe and Asia. maybe it'll go back to Hollywood in a couple decades, having traveled around the world.
posted by matteo at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2008


very easy to prove wrong.

It's not, really. The classics stick around; the shit is forgotten. That's a big part of why the past tends to look better, in terms of its cultural by-products. (And incidentally, noir tends to be considered a post-WWII trend, so I think it largely misses your Golden Era.) And you can't really "prove" stuff like this anyway, since it's a matter of taste. You can argue it, sure.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:25 AM on February 8, 2008


Fury was made in 1936. Maltese Falcon from 1941. etc, etc.


The classics stick around; the shit is forgotten


no, the classics stick around, the excellent stuff is not on DVD and hence forgotten by most. you cannot judge stuff you haven't seen because it's not on DVD. some of us have seen it, and it's excellent. certainly better than Hostel 2.
posted by matteo at 9:39 AM on February 8, 2008


Well, matteo, I certainly envy you the hundred years of theatrical filmgoing that's allowed you to see films none of the rest of us are privy to (I'd keep a close eye on that self-portrait you must have moldering in some attic somewhere), but you'll have to forgive me for not finding much weight in the argument that clearly anyone who disagrees with you simply isn't qualified to say so.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:53 AM on February 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Of course they're nice photos. But it's really just a rather medicore and derivative idea that someone has thrown absolutely tons of money at (so, yes, entirely apposite for Hollywood).

I suppose what we should be looking here for is the brilliant, original idea on a shoestring, but we won't find that in Hollywood or VF.
posted by rhymer at 10:00 AM on February 8, 2008


I suppose what we should be looking here for is the brilliant, original idea on a shoestring, but we won't find that in Hollywood or VF.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a photo shoot beautifully featuring current celebrities done up like beloved Hitchcock characters, VF is exactly where to find it.
posted by katillathehun at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2008


I thought James McAvoy seemed "well cast" for this. Something about that smirk on his face seems in line with Strangers on a Train. I also that the spread of Seth Rogen was an interesting twist on the theme, given that he's a comedy guy.

I suppose what we should be looking here for is the brilliant, original idea on a shoestring, but we won't find that in Hollywood or VF.

Unless you are positing that homage has no place in "art" or that it is inherently unimpressive, then I think you are misreading the artists' intent here.
posted by dhammond at 3:37 PM on February 8, 2008


I also that the spread of Seth Rogen was an interesting twist on the theme, given that he's a comedy guy.

There's a lot of humour in "North by Northwest", too. Rogen is no Cary Grant, but I do find that photograph amusing, if nothing else. Some of the other photographs are a bit lifeless (Marnie, To Catch a Thief) but others are beautiful homages to great films. It's great to see Eva Marie Saint in the "Lifeboat" recreation. "The Birds" and "Rear Window" are wonderful recreations.
posted by crossoverman at 1:54 AM on February 9, 2008


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