Kim Novak at the Cinerama

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I love the Cinerama, which always wins our Best of Seattle reader ballots as best movie theater. But I hate the Cinerama, because its management never sends out press releases. So, as I've belatedly discovered, tonight's your last night to catch Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 psycho-thriller is his greatest work, the most emotionally resonant tragedy of his long career. Jimmy Stewart is the San Francisco cop, afraid of heights, who falls for Kim Novak, loses her, and then gradually loses his mind while trying to recreate her image with another woman (also Novak, unbeknownst to him). Vertigo is less overtly Freudian than, say, Psycho, but plunges deepest into the psyche of a guy so in love with a dead woman (who claims to be a reincarnation) that his urges push a live woman--who can't live up to his ideal--to her death. It's eros and thanatos dancing to a classic score by Bernard Herrmann, pulling Stewart inexorably into the fatal whorl of his own passion, like the spiral curl of Novak's blond hair, like the twisted tissues of his own cortex.

Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave., 441-3080. $7.25-$10.25. 8 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 29.

 
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