Our Own Vertigo Essay Samples
There are a certain amount of inferences that are often made when it comes to talking about the differences between genders. Some of them have even become “predictable” leading to very well-known phrases but also, more often than not, misconceptions on gender. On the film Vertigo, by Alfred Hitchcock, we are presented with such case in which we realize that there have been many clichés when it comes to the way men and women are depicted in film, not only that, the picture of a man painted by Hitchcock also allows the audience to reach catharsis between the misconceptions and the weakness of a real man by encouraging the audience to feel sympathy for him on the very first scene of the film. This scene, in agreement with what is seen throughout the film, argues the differences in the portrayals in which both genders view and express their very own emotions about gender relations between men and women.
Since as a spectator, one is not expecting to have their understanding of certain concepts defied, it is hard for the audience to identify that that is what is going on during the first scene of this film. Instead of liking the character due to his portrayal of “masculinity”, as the audience is used to, they develop a certain sympathy towards the lead characters due to the fact that he has weaknesses and is vulnerable: “The unifying emotional subtext of all these aphorisms involves never showing emotions or admitting to weakness  Kindness is not an option, nor is compassion. Those sentiments are taboo.” (Kimmel 609). Through a camera in “first person” and a dizzying movement that allows to watch the scene from Scottie´s point of view, the audience is introduced to this character’s agoraphobia: his greatest weakness.
“Masculinity is largely a “homosocial” experience: Performed for, and judged by other men  Women have, in men’s minds, such a low place on the social ladder of this country that it’s useless to define yourself in terms of a woman.What men need is men’s approval.” (Kimmel 611). Throughout the scene we are able to develop two different perspectives, Scottie’s and that of the fear we perceive from Scottie by being able to have a close look at his face, in which we are no longer attached to the character in a “point of view” scene. Same way masculinity is perceived, by the subject of judgement and those who judge. This is also sustained by the fact that in this scene, the lead character loses his best friend due to him not being able to follow through the chase being depicted.
The use of the camera has a high influence on what the public will perceive of the characters in a film, even if it means defying certain stereotypes the viewer might be used to. It is important to appreciate the fact that the camera works have a somewhat, unperceivable way of distorting the way we “look at things”. By using certain elements in the use of the camera, we are able to create sympathy or disdain for an element or a character. In this case, the way the camera is being used helps us break the clichés and find sympathy for a character we would otherwise think of as useless.