I dreamed I was whitening Julio Iglesias’ teeth.
Archive for May, 2006
“My hair was short and Hitchcock wanted that perfect pulled-back hair. I already hated that gray suit and then having to go through putting on that wig with a false front made me feel so trapped inside this person who was desperately wanting to break out but was so caught up in the web of deception that she couldn’t. The fear of not being loved if she didn’t have on these clothes or wore her hair in a certain way, oh god, she had nothing left but to kill herself in the bell tower.”
Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with women’s hair. It’s the ultimate symbol of women’s sexual power; a power that he found both irresistible and terrifying. Vertigo is essentially an examination of his own fascination with feminine appearance. The Hitchcock blondes almost always wore their hair in a compulsively arranged manner, suggesting his desire for perfection and control.
Hitchcock generally did not like loose hair on women. He seemed to find it vulgar rather than casually free. In his last real Hitchcock film, Marnie, the eponymous heroine, played by Tippi Hedren, lets her hair down in the opening scene when she in her slutty black-haired incarnation running away with the money, in the honeymoon cruise scene when is forced to perform her marital duties by Sean Connery, in the final scene with her ex-prostitute mother.
Loose morals? loose hair.
Yet she doesn’t strut or preen. Hedren has a sensible carriage; she wears her well-tailored suits as if she had been paid nicely to model them, and she’s pragmatic about the expectations she must fulfill while working in this capacity. She makes her way through the world with an economy of movement. Her bearing suggests that she knows just what’s appropriate, and can be relied upon not to give more or less. As the black-haired mystery woman in the opening of marnie, Hedren clutches her vivid yellow purse to her side; the purse is puckered suggestively and bulging with lubricious promise, yet, as the camera pulls out, Hedren’s backside isn’t seen to comply with such possibilities. It barely wiggles: this lady is no-nonsense: she travels with measured and determined steps down the platform.