Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vertigo -- yet again

Early this morning, at sea, somewhere off the Isles of Scilly, I watched Vertigo yet again. It was broadcast on our shipboard television network. We are tucked away in a small cabin, well forward, in a great ship. There are fewer passengers than I thought there might be. This voyage started at Hamburg, sailed through the North Sea, then down the English Channel to the great maritime port of Southampton. We embarked there some 3000 miles from New York, our final destination.

The initial port being a German one, the greater proportion of our shipmates are German born. We have been surrounded by the sounds of their language since we boarded yesterday. Its rhythms brought back a yesterday more than fifty years earlier when I saw Vertigo for the first time: not in a theatre in New York, but in Garmisch Partinkirchen.

I would like to say that last night I dreamed again of Garmisch Partinkirchen. But I did not. Magic needs no exaggeration. But this morning I thought again of that beautiful small town situated among great mountain peaks. And I thought again of Scottie Ferguson and Midge, and of a mystical woman who roamed San Francisco fraudulently seeking her past but unknowingly awaiting her death from a bell tower.

(I will reflect on my initial viewing in my next post.)

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