Vertigo and the Spectator of Film Analysis

Andrew Klevan


Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo skilfully continues to stimulate different views of it – hence the volume of writing – different ways of viewing it, different ways of being a viewer of it (even if these views overlap or are complementary). One purpose of the piece is to provide a little caution to those students coming to study Vertigo, and Spectatorship, for the first time: not to presume that the film, and by association any film, has one type of spectator. It is through examining various responses to it – rather than presenting one view of it – that we can see perspicaciously that Vertigo has a special capacity for teaching us about the complexity of film spectatorship. This is possibly because Vertigo is so concerned to make the act of viewing an active part of viewing it.


Vetigo; Hitchcock, Stanley Cavell

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