Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Vertiginous Hauntings: The Ghosts of Vertigo Published


Last Updated on April 20, 2021 by bricoleur

VertiGhost a 2019 movie about the ghosts of paintings in a museum and their haunted histories where Vertigo was shot. Directed by Lynn Hershman Lesson.
VertiGhost (2017) by Lynn Hershman-Lesson

Thanks go out to Dominique E. for sending this paper my way. Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli of UC Davis and Davis Martine Beugnet from the Université Paris Diderot have published a fascinating article entitled “Vertiginous Hauntings: The Ghosts of Vertigo” in the journal Film-Philosophy (volume 23.3, 2019: 227-246). As the paper is copyrighted under a blog-friendly Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, I will present the abstract here and append the PDF.

lightly edited

While the initial reception of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) was unspectacular, it made its presence felt in a host of other films–from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil (1983) to Brian De Palma’s Obsession (1976), and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (1999). What seemed to have eluded the critics at the time is that Vertigo is a film about being haunted: by illusive images, turbulent emotions, motion and memory, the sound and feeling of falling into the past, into a nightmare. But it is also a shrewdly reflexive film that haunts filmmakers, critics, and artists alike, raising fundamental questions about the ontology of moving images and the regime of fascination (exemplified by Hollywood) that churns them out. Douglas Gordon’s Feature Film (1999), D.N. Rodowick’s The Wanderers (2016), and Lynn Hershman’s VertiGhost (2017) are contemporary examples of how the appropriation and contemplation of some of the film’s most iconic motifs (the figures of Madeleine, the spiral, the copy or fake, and the fetish), themes (Liebestod, obsession, the uncanny) and strategies (mirroring, duplicity, and disorientation) ask us to rethink the relation of fetishism to fabulation, and supplementarity to dissimulation and social engineering. Feature Film, The Wanderers, and VertiGhost are supplementary works, but like the original film, they are about duplicity, doppelgänger, and dissimulation. What interests us is how they challenge the authority over, or even proximity to, that which returns in the form of the supplement. And ultimately, attaching themselves to the chain of forgers and forgeries, these supplementary works take their place in the vertiginous sequence of substitutions the film established: a neat allegory for a reign of the digital ghosting that Hitchcock could never have anticipated.

Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and Davis Martine Beugnet, “Vertiginous Hauntings: The Ghosts of Vertigo.” Film-Philosophy 23.3 (2019): 227-246.

Film-Philosophy 23.3 (2019): 227–246 DOI: 10.3366/film.2019.0114 © Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and Martine Beugnet. This article is published as Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence ( which permits non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction provided the original work is cited. 
For commercial re-use, please refer to our website at:

Movie Poster Series @ MUBI

MUBI also has an amazing series of movie poster pages, including one that features “Movie Poster of the Week: Brian De Palma in International Posters.” Other topics covered by film writer Adrian Curry include Hungarian designers, Robert Altman, Paul Crifo, Edward Yang, Hubert Sauper, Leo and Diane Dillon, Jahan Singh Bakshi, Saul Bass, social distancing, Kirk Douglas, Ken Loach, Klimov, Joker, the Black Canvas Film Festival, and others about 2019 and 2020 (and even the 2010s) favorites.

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Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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