Friday, 14 October 2011

A Haunting…

This post belongs with a recent sequence labelled archive and memory but was unfinished…until now


imageWhen I was a child of seven or eight, I watched a film on the television one Sunday afternoon, which haunted me for years. I later had no memory of the film's details, except that it starred Gregory Peck, an actor with great currency at that time. What I did recall, however, were three very powerful memories: strange music, an accidental killing, and, most of all, a dream sequence - especially the image on the left. The phrase “Angel Valley” also lurked at the edge of my memory.

Over the years, I often wondered about the film but had no means of finding out what it might be. When it came back to me again, more recently, I realised I now had the means and the search term ‘gregory peck angel valley dream sequence’ led me straight there.
It turned out the haunting had been created by three rather powerful ghost makers. The film was “Spellbound”: directed by Hitchcock with a dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali.  The music was by Miklós Rózsa and notable for his pioneering use of the theremin. Youtube presented me with the conveniently edited dream sequence below, complete with a parallel sequence from Bunuel/Dali's 'Un Chien Andalou'. Watch the whole film on YouTube and you will probably be amused by its facile potrayal of psychoanalysis. I'm not really surprised that Selznick's  therapist, May Romm (credited  as a technical adviser) apparently had frequent clashes with Hitchcock. 

But of one thing I can be fairly certain; that, whilst I hope you will find the 'Spellbound' dream sequence interesting,  it won’t be haunting you quite the way it still haunts the child in me…