Kim Novak again: Using Vertigo score like actual rape


Back at the beginning of the year, Kim Novak said that using part of Bernard Herrmann’s Vertigo score in The Artist was just like rape. She’s not done saying it. Novak revealed to the AP that she was raped when she was young. Like many victims, she never reported the crime. Unlike many victims, she feels that noticing music from another film is exactly what it’s like to be raped. (Imagine if she actually wrote the score.)

When reached for comment by Flixist, the blue Jedi ghost of Bernard Herrmann said, “I was surprised when I heard the music I wrote in another film, but in movies about the movies, a certain amount of pastiche, homage, and cribbing is to be expected. I’m sure there was no malice intended toward my work or anyone involved with Vertigo.” The blue Jedi ghost of Bernard Herrmann then excused himself to meet the blue Jedi ghosts of J Dilla and Joe Strummer for a drink.

In all seriousness, it’s strange to compare such a minor thing to an actual rape. It’s unlikely that the surprise, annoyance, or minor upset of this situation is anything like rape. This doesn’t invalidate Novak’s own pain and tragedy when she was young, but surely this little homage in The Artist can’t be on the same level. We live in a world in which so much of the cultural noise around us is based on recontextualizing, remixing, and reappropriating. If this is her default reaction to the recognition of cultural references and not just hyperbole, it must be impossible to get through a day without being sent into a paroxysm that leaves her feeling depressed and ashamed.

But I wonder how she feels about 12 Monkeys. After the cut, the Vertigo-inspired video for Faith No More’s “Last Cup of Sorrow.”

[Via Vulture]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.