Berlinale Review: The Green Fog

There are many directors whose work keeps returning to the same focal point. That could be a period in history, a theme, or sometimes a place. In terms of location, the most famous example is probably Woody Allen’s continuing love affair with New York. However, Guy Maddin has gone one step further in his new film, The Green Fog. The Canadian, probably best known for The Forbidden Room, uses footage from a myriad of films and television shows to create a postcard to San Francisco.

Commissioned by the San Francisco Film Festival, Maddin worked alongside Evan and Galen Johnson to create a re-imagining of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Using just over an hour of clips, the trio has managed to produce a film which not only acts as a homage to the City by the Bay, but a rather hypnotic and bedazzling piece of cinema in its own right.

The Green Fog is more than just a novelty work or a curiosity. Thanks to some ingenious quick-cut editing by the Johnsons, it feels much more than the intended scene by scene remake of Vertigo. Jacob Garchik’s impressive score adds further glue to the beast, helping create a Frankenstein’s monster of a film. The Green Fog is inventive, clever and amusing, breathing new life into a classic whilst also acting as a fitting tribute.

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