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Echoes #6

Dario Argento one-ups Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" in his horror classic "Suspiria".
From Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), matte painting by Matthew Yuricich:
North by Northwest
From Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977), cinematography by Luciano Tovoli:
Part of our on-going series, Echoes. 
This matte painting in North by Northwest always reminds me of Michel Gondry’s films and his universe.
Interesting! Howso? I couldn’t imagine two worlds more different than Hitch’s and Gondry’s…
Because no one was allowed to film in or around the United Nations building until “The Interpreter” (2005) Argento’s cinema has always been vertigo-inducing so this is quite a fitting shot.
Hitchcock’s and Gondry’s worlds are definitely very different. But when I was watching North by Northwest I was so drawn to this shot, for a few seconds I could see a glimpse of something that looked a bit artsy craftsy (in a good way!) in an Hitchcock film. This setting reminded me of Gondry incredible creativity in, for example, his “Usine de films amateurs” ( – at 02:15 you can see a very interesting device with cars that particularly reminds me of this matte painting). I’m not trying to establish any influence of Hitchcock in Gondry just saying that for a brief moment, in this matte painting, I saw a setting so different from what I had seen from Hitchcock and that this little detail reminded me of Gondry’s artsy craftsy world.
This reminds me of Black Narcissus
The Hitchcock shot definitely stands out as being very art deco. To me it also looks like a children’s play set.
…which connects with Mademoiselle’s Gondry connection.
The Suspiria-shot shows the BMW headquarters (Architect: Karl Schwanzer) in Munich, Germany, where the film was made. The circular building on the upper left side is the BMW museum.
What about Kubrick’s shot of the maze in The Shining? Very similar to the Hitchcock shot, I think, with the artificial look but small figures with shadows walking around.

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