It might not have the same effect on New York City as this week’s bomb cyclone, but Guy Maddin’s latest cinematic creation is pretty awe-inspiring. Entitled The Green Fog, the film is a reimagining of Hitchcock’s Vertigo using found footage taken from over 200 films and TV shows shot in and around San Francisco. Originally commissioned as the closing night feature at the 60th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival, The Green Fog is now getting a theatrical run in New York City. It opens today at IFC Center and Guy Maddin will be around on Saturday, January 6 to do a couple of Q&As.
For The Green Fog, Maddin enlisted the help of brothers Evan and Galen Johnson, who also worked with the filmmaker on The Forbidden Room. The new project was approached as being an ode to San Francisco and found the trio poring over hours and hours of footage from films and TV shows, such as The Streets of San Francisco, McMillan & Wife, Jagged Edge, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Dirty Harry. As they watched, they noticed that the visuals lent themselves to a retelling of Vertigo, so they decided to use Hitchcock’s tale of erotic obsession as a narrative thread.
Their final product is at times poetic, at times humorous, at times spellbinding. It’s meticulously spliced together, sometimes removing all dialogue from a scene, leaving the actors embroiled in awkward staring contests. There are also many notable cameos including Rock Hudson, Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Mel Brooks, Meg Ryan, Vincent Price and more. Further enhancing the film is a score by Jacob Garchik, performed by Kronos Quartet.
If you’re not up on Vertigo, select screenings of The Green Fog will be paired with Hitchcock’s classic as a double feature (two films for one admission). Plus, all screenings of The Green Fog are accompanied by the short Lines of the Hand (2015), directed by Maddin, along with Evan and Galen Johnson. The short is an adaptation of an unrealized script by Jean Vigo.
You can find the trailer for The Green Fog below. For tickets and schedule information visit IFC Center’s website.