Programme
Morning
08.30
Registration
09.00
Welcome Introduction
09.15
Opening Address
09.30
Speaker No.1
10.05
Speaker No.2
10.35
☕️ Coffee Break
10.50
Speaker No.3
11.25
Speaker No.4
11.55
Speaker No.5
12.30
Lunch Break
Afternoon
13.30
Speaker No.6
14.05
Speaker No.7
14.35
Speaker No.8
15.05
Speaker No.9
15.35
Speaker No.10
16.05
Video Presentation
16.15
End of Presentations at Central Hotel
17.30
Screening of Vertigo at Lighthouse Cinema
Charles Barr
University East Anglia UK
Title: "Why Vertigo?"
What is so special about Vertigo? This paper will explore the status of Vertigo currently ranked number One in the 2012 Sight & Sound UK poll and will trace the changing status of Vertigo, and of Hitchcock, in the decades since it was made, and explore the film's powerful self-reflexive qualities. This will involve cross-references to, for example, John Ford's The Searchers whose status has, likewise, changed dramatically over time. 
William Rothman
University of Miami USA
Title: " 'I Look Up, I Look Down': James Stewart's Performance in Vertigo"
Like Cary Grant, that other Hitchcock stalwart, James Stewart is the kind of screen performer about whom it is said that he always plays himself, or even that he always is himself on camera.  Andrew Sarris called Stewart “the most complete actor-personality in the American cinema” —not better than Grant (no one could be) but more “complete” in the sense that he starred in films in a wider range of genres that required him to express a wider range of emotions.  Stewart’s performance in Vertigo isn’t better than his other performances.  But it is more complete.  Scottie runs the full gamut of human emotions and, as my presentation will show, Stewart expresses, with unfailing precision and at times startling intensity, a diversity of moods that range from amusement, excited anticipation, unbounded joy, ecstatic love, and passionate desire to all-consuming hatred, darkest despair, murderous rage, and blood-curdling horror—and many shades in between.
Murray Pomerance
Ryerson University Canada
Title: " A Cicerone's Conjecture: Gallery 6 and Vertigo's Foreshadows "
This talk will meditate upon a view of Scottie's experience visualizing Madeleine in the surrounds of the Palace of the Legion of Honor. While some scholarship has made perfunctory comment about a few of the paintings on view there, one suspects there is considerably more to say and think about, perhaps with the same sense of anticipation and wonder that would have struct our wandering detective confronted by alluring, and confounding visions of the past. Are the "Portals of the Past" that Gavin Elster informs Scottie his wife dreamily stares at, replicated for Scottie himself as he dreamily stares at her in this place?
George Toles
University of Manitoba Canada
Title: "Theatres Rational and Irrational in Vertigo"
My paper will give further consideration to the numerous and contradictory functions of overt and hidden theatre in the world of Vertigo. Gavin Elster's literal seduction/murder plot in the film has much to do, of course, with coaching, training, and intricate staging of a performance. But theatre extends well past Elster's domain, and has everything to do with the film's--and Scottie's-- simultaneous desire to resolve and surrender completely to obsession. The starting point of my analysis is Scottie's first trip to the Mission with Madeleine, where he is convinced he can disclose to Madeleine a rational theatre equivalent for the murky, disquieting promptings of her dream life. He leads her to the carriage house where he shows her a variety of props that offer crude, even comic literalizations of the dream images that confound her. Scottie becomes a theatrical director himself, restaging the narrative that Madeleine has shared with him as evidence of Carlotta's demonic grip on her consciousness. "You see, there's an answer for everything," he triumphantly concludes, unaware at that moment that he is as enamoured with the mysterious force driving Madeleine to trance, memory loss, and the brink of destruction as he is with Madeleine herself. It is the power that "possesses" her that augments his own obsession with her. To reduce the mystery by making rational theatre out of it threatens his own need to stay haunted and spellbound. Madeleine replies to his staging with a final delirious theatrical turn of her own, making the harmless, explicable props that Scottie has revealed to her an avenue to irrational self-destruction. Between Gavin Elster's plan and Scottie's theatrical demonstration Hitchcock suddenly conjures up forces that cannot be controlled, disentangled, or laid to rest. Madeleine remembers her assigned role, and fulfils it step by step, but also makes it something ungovernable, and "loses" herself in the act of performing her character's ending. I shall go on to explore other scenes of staging and their double-edged effect--including Midge's portrait scene, Scottie's game with Midge's chair, and the final re-enactment of the murder scene in the tower.
Kevin Donnelly
University of Southampton UK
Title: "Disagreeing with Hitchcock?: The Counterpoint in Vertigo's Music"
Bernard Herrmann's intensely romantic string-dominated music for Vertigo is without doubt one of the defining aspects of the film. It underlines the film's tragic narrative while also intensifying its heart of emotion and desire. However, the music also has something of a 'misdirecting' function in that its constant suggestion of romance takes emphasis away from the film's twisted sexual obsession. Indeed, the music constantly tells us that Vertigo is a love story, while the film's other elements often seem to be telling us that isn't the case and we are witnessing something utterly horrifying. It is almost as if Herrmann's music is disagreeing with Hitchcock, although the but more likely situation was that Hitchcock was well aware that the music's power to frame the film as a love story against the grain of the story's trajectory would make it all the more affecting and effective. 
Christian Esquevin
Director Coronado Library, California
Title: "Vertigo: The Costuming of a Masterpiece"
This paper considers how the Oscar winning costume designer Edith Head worked with Alfred Hitchcock in developing the iconic costumes for Kim Novak in Vertigo. The costume design in Vertigo plays a crucial role in defining the character of Madeleine, Judy, and subsequently the re-transformation of Judy into the Madeleine character. Madeleine is a woman of class, always well-dressed in tailored suits and dresses from the fitting rooms of Ransohoff's. Judy's costumes are purposefully working-class and unbecoming, fitting, no doubt, for a girl from Salina, Kansas. Scottie's obsession with the "dead" Madeleine has found its object in Judy, but can only be satisfied by a transformation in character and this can be only be achieved by a complete transformation in costume. Vertigo's costume designer Edith Head had worked with Hitchcock on several films, going back to Notorious in 1946. She knew from experience that Hitchcock was very specific in his costume needs, often spelled out in the script. The script always determined the costume breakdown for the film, with Hitchcock discussing his costume needs with Edith and approving all of her costume design sketches before the costumes were fabricated.
David Schroeder
Dalhousie University Canada
Title: "Vertigo as Opera"
Some of the finest films ever made have been defined by elements of opera, including Alexander Nevsky, Citizen Kane, Pasolini’s Medea, Babette’s Feast, Fitzcarraldo, and many more. Vertigo fits right in with these, and may very well top the list. An early version of the script included a scene at an opera performance in San Francisco, where Scottie gets his first look at Madeleine, and it gives her a diva-like appearance. In the final version that scene had given way to Gavin Elster informing Scottie that he could see her at Ernie’s restaurant before the opera. That scene proved unnecessary to make the link with opera, as Madeleine resembles a character from grand opera, backed up by Bernard Herrmann’s Wagner-like theme for her at Ernie’s. The climax of the film for Scottie, who starts out as a reluctant audience member at an opera but ends up being drawn into the opera itself, happens when Judy emerges from the powder room near the end, having been completely transformed into Madeleine, and here the score virtually quotes the opening climax from the overture of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Madeleine must die, as happens so frequently to operatic heroines, in her case twice, making it all the more operatic. Attempts to find order or intelligibility with the music of Mozart or J. C. Bach prove to be no match for the Wagnerian ambiguity so pervasive in the film.
Jack Sullivan
Rider University USA
Title: "Relentless Destiny: The Score for Vertigo and its Background"
The music for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is increasingly recognized as the cinema’s greatest score. Hitchcock's meditation on obsession and loss would not be the masterpiece it is without what Martin Scorsese calls the “tragically beautiful score by Bernard Herrmann, [which] is absolutely essential to the spirit, the functioning, and the power of Vertigo.” From the moment Herrmann’s triplets begin spiralling in contrary motion, plunging the listener into the cinema’s most beautiful nightmare, Scottie Ferguson’s obsession becomes ours. The modernist sections alone – the dissonant  “Vertigo” chord, the icy clusters in the sequoia forest scene – are uniquely haunting, but the Wagnerian sensuality of the love music is even more memorable. Herrmann had a unique ability to create spellbinding mystery and a sense of longing.  From Citizen Kane through to Taxi Driver, Herrmann dealt in obsession and loss, but only Hitchcock gave him the latitude to develop these themes with such expansiveness and intensity. Vertigo repealed forever the convention that a film score must remain discretely in the background. In Vertigo, the score is an unseen narrator that always tells the truth, that is able, as Hitchcock said in a 1932 interview on music, to “express the unspoken.” In eight films, Hitchcock entrusted Herrmann to evoke ideas and passions that could not be captured by dialogue or cinematography – even his own. Vertigo is the culmination of this collaboration. As with many risky masterpieces, it almost didn’t happen. From conception and composition through rehearsal to final recording, Herrmann's score was beset with problems and setbacks, yet it ultimately kept this dark masterwork alive even after Hitchcock yanked it from the theatres.
Sidney Gottlieb
Sacred Heart University, Connecticut, USA
Title: "The Variety of Gazes in Vertigo"
Laura Mulvey’s seminal essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” has been an essential reference point for many years for film studies in general and our approach to Hitchcock in particular. But the particular gaze that she so forcefully calls attention to and analyzes is, however prominent and significant, one among many kinds of gazes deployed in Vertigo. In my essay I outline a full taxonomy of gazes in the film, illustrating them with stills and brief clips, and discussing how each functions and what each conveys. Vertigo emerges even more fully as a film in many respects structured around picturing and anatomizing the gaze, but the multiple forms of the gaze alert us that much more is being signified than male empowerment and female objectification and victimization.