Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled
setsuled

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The Instantaneous Infinite



Few movies got as much mileage out of star quality as Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. I watched it in blu-ray last night and I think the most exciting thing about blu-ray to me is just that it gives me a new excuse to watch, and a slightly fresh perspective on, a movie I've watched billions of times because I absolutely love it. blu-ray, too, I guess slightly removes the evidence of the digital barrier between me and the reality of the movie, it's a little closer to watching it on film.

I don't think there was a huge difference, though, between my DVD copy and the blu-ray. Here's a comparison of cropped unresized screenshots;




My DVD copy was released by Criterion and the blu-ray was done by MGM which may explain why the DVD copy looks slightly less washed out. I suppose the image is slightly sharper, but it is really hard to tell. I think I was able to see Mrs. Sebastian's facial expression sooner when she was coming down the stairs.

Anyway, it's always a pleasure watching that movie. It may be Hitchcock's most sensually shot film, ruminating in closeups of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Hitchcock finds material in their faces not just because they're beautiful but because they give such subtle and complex performances. Who would have thought the master of screwball comedy in the late 1930s, Cary Grant, could here communicate so much with eyes, the twitch of an eyelid, the darkening of a brow. But his restraint as Devlin is so perfect--we don't need exposition at all to see how he's been burnt by a woman somehow, how it's made him shut up inside himself. It's ingeniously tied to his perspective on his and Bergman's different social positions. When you watch him in this movie, imagine watching him from Bergman's perspective--he never projects more than Devlin realistically would for how much people get from him, and yet he communicate volumes. He's cool and like he's just barely holding himself together.



And Bergman is so excellent as the POV character, her eyes searching for the tiniest scrap of the affection and faith she hopes to see from him, but she's confined on her own isolated journey of duplicity with Claude Rains. She gives a subtle and communicative performance, too.



Getting tired of this movie would be like getting tired of a forest--I'd tell you it's only because you're not looking hard enough.
Tags: alfred hitchcock, cary grant, claude rains, ingrid bergman, movies, notorious
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