'The Artist' director defends use of Hitchcock score
January 10th, 2012
04:13 PM ET

'The Artist' director defends use of Hitchcock score

Actress Kim Novak has ripped into the critically acclaimed movie "The Artist," claiming that the film's use of "Vertigo's" score was out of line.

Novak, who starred in the classic 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film, says in a Variety magazine ad that she feels "as if my body - or, at least my body of work - has been violated by the movie 'The Artist'...This film should've been able to stand on its own without depending on Bernard Herrmann's score from Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' to provide more drama."

To Novak, the way "Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius incorporated the music, even with what she viewed as a "small credit to Herrmann" at the end, was "cheating."

"It is morally wrong for the artistry of our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what they were intended," she continued. "Shame on them!"

Hazanavicius tells CNN that while he's apologetic the screen legend is so upset by the use of the "Vertigo" score, he's not sorry he used it.

"I’ve done nothing wrong," he said at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday. "I used music from another movie, but it’s not illegal. We paid for that, we asked for that and we had the permission to do it. For me there is no real controversy...I feel sorry for her, but there’s a lot of movies with music from other movies, directors do that all the time and I’m not sure it’s a big deal."

What makes him a little sad, he continued, is that "The Artist" "was suppose to be an homage, a tribute to the Hollywood classical movie, not something aggressive or something bad."

soundoff (21 Responses)
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  7. Kim No-phuck

    boohoohoo! What an act you are, beetch no-phuck! As if your trying to ruin a great triumph for cinema will make your career any better. You're a nobody now. I don't even know you. You're clearly trying to get attention, in which you're succeeding at, in a negative way. Thanks to the success of the artist. SMH. Have you seen 'The Artist' lately? Learn!

    February 28, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. larhold

    The Hermann music is so unique that I immediately saw Kim Novak and VERTIGO in my mind, For those who know the score, it was probably more disruptive being used in THE ARTIST than anything else. It certainly jolted my focus of attention.

    February 17, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • missflutie

      Agreed, I was distracted because I heard Hermann's score and saw Kim Novak instead of staying with The Artist. Decent choice, nice homage to Vertigo and Hermann, but because of the distraction, they could have kept with the original music.

      March 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AMOR

    For cynrig out loud. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was the very first thing Bill Clinton did when he became president. This was a Clinton mandate.Secondly, why were Democrat plants and questions used for the Republican candidate debate? Isn't this debate and every debate prior to the caucus in Iowa and the primaries to help REPUBLICANS decide who to vote for? This was a set up from the beginning to try to make the Republicans look bad. Shame on CNN and all of the democraps who tried to sabotage the program.Shame on the Republican candidates for even taking part in this three-ring circus.

    February 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GAR

    So what's the big deal? He legally lifted and paid for background music from a 50 year old film "Vertigo" which will make people who haven't seen it, curious and want to see it now. Its a kind of Vertigo " revival /a new lease on life" for younger audiences. Now audiences will see how beautiful the young Kim Novak was then, and curious to see what she looks like now (maybe not a good idea). This is freel publicity for "Vertigo". Com'n Kim, you're out of mainstream Hollywood and coming back negatively. Benny Hermann would be flattered his 50 year old music is appreciated and updated in a hit film.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Will Smith

    So how is using the score from a 1958 color masterpiece, music specifically composed for that film by the greatest movie music composer in histroy, somehow an homage to silent film? Instead of paying licensing fees, why din't this bozo pay an actual composer to write new good music? Eh?

    January 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • stephenseemayer

      Because silent films famously used composed music from films or compositions created originally BEFORE the film. The use of the vertigo music was an homage to the way old silent films' orchestras played previously created music. So... that is why. Good day sir.

      January 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • nasso

      the man said "tribute to the Hollywood CLASSICAL movie" you moron, can't you read? classical is not only the silent era but goes up to the early '60s. what the hell are you doing here anyway?

      January 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Felipe

      You mean like Ludovic Bource? Who composed the original score for this movie and won an Academy Award for it? They used that Vertigo track on purpose, it was a choice by the director, Bource could just as easily composed an original song for that scene, but Hazanavicius wanted to make that specific reference.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. John Stanowski

    7th paragraph: "suppose". Come on.

    January 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. HiKimI'mHomageSimpson

    Umm, where was she when Terry Gilliam used actual film clips of 'Vertigo' in 'Twelve Monkeys?' Or "A Single Man", which used parts of the Vertigo score? Or Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" video? Benny Herrmann's probably rolling around in his grave with this crank ripping people for appreciating his work. If it wasn't for "The Artist" or Gaga, kids or even the average person probably wouldn't even hear a note of the score to "Vertigo." Hitch was right for not liking his actresses.

    And one last thing. She's one to talk. She basically got her career by being a poor man's Jayne Mansfield, who was a poor man's Marilyn Monroe. Check and mate, Miss Novak.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shakey

    I didn't know she was still alive

    January 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. theDude

    Get that lady a can of Ensure and put on a Lawrence Welk re-run. Chilax, honey.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Crys

    She's making a big deal out of nothing really. Movies often pay homage to past films, music, poems, etc. It's not that the person is stealing or cheating. The director felt pulled by that music enough to have the licensing fees paid to use it. That should be seen as a huge compliment. Some people just want to play the victim though, and Ms. Novak is doing nothing more than hurting herself.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  17. be quiet

    she sounds like a cranky old broad who needs to pull the stick out

    January 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |

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