ALFRED HITCHCOCK in FAITH NO MORE history
Alfred Hitchcock's film-noir masterpiece Vertigo, released on May 9th 1958, is celebrating it's 60th anniversary. The film was parodied by Joseph Kahn for the Faith No More video Last Cup Of Sorrow.
Billboard | June 1998 | Gina Van Der Vliet
Faith No More's New Vid To Give Viewers Vertigo
LOS ANGELES—As a homage to Alfred Hitchcock, Faith No More's new video "Last Cup Of Sorrow" shows the band in a parody of the legendary director's 1958 movie "Vertigo." "I always thought 'Vertigo' had an interesting music video feel to it because of the [rich Graphics] in the film," says GMS director Joseph Kahn. "Also the of idea of FNM's Mike Patton playing Jimmy Stewart seemed funny to me. Basically you're taking this really subversive person and putting him in this clean, sterile, technicolor 50s world, yet pieces of the subversiveness of his persona keep coming through this world. It's like blending an old film with this totally weird 90s type of guy."
One of the moments Kahn is hinting at is a scene showing Patton hiding a porno magazine from actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays the dual roles originally portrayed by Kim Novak. As in the movie. Patton rescues Leigh's character from drowning and brings her back to his apartment.
Leigh's second character is not as clean cut as in Hitchcock movie. After the blond character supposedly falls to her death, the actress returns as a sado masochist call girl in a black wig who attacks Patton's character. Ironically, she uses as a weapon the same stool that Patton was unable to stand on earlier in the video due to his fear of heights.
"That's the type of subversive stuff I liked doing, without disrespecting the film," Kahn explains. "But personally I think Hitchcock would have liked the sense of humour."
Like the movie, which was recently re-released in U.S. theatres, the video was shot in San Francisco—Faith No More's home town—often at many of the same original locations used for the film. For example, the Supper Club. formerly known as Ernie's, was the restaurant that Hitchcock was originally trying to depict in his film. The filmed movie scenes however, were shot on a movie set built to look like the restaurant. To create an authentic touch, Kahn, Leigh, and the band managed to shoot the scene inside the actual restaurant, which had just reopened it's doors.
Throughout the video, the band members—Patton, vocals; Billy Gould, bass; Roddy Bottum, keyboards; Mike Bordin, drums; and John Hudson, guitars—are shown in cameo roles assigned by Kahn.
"At first I was kind of bummed because I [was asked to portray] the lady in the painting, which I didn't really wanna do," Gould says with a laugh. "But it all worked out good."
According to Gould, picking a video treatment is often a tedious process for the band, since there are seldom treatments the members can collectively get enthusiastic about "We Usually pick the one that's the least bad," Gould says. "But in this case (the idea) sounded pretty good. And when we got to the shoot and met Joseph we knew it was a good thing. He's a cool dude. We very much had the same vision, which is really rare. It made for a situation in which we felt we were actually creating something together."
'Last Cup Of Sorrow' premiered May 18 on MTV's "120 Minutes"and is anticipated to go into active rotation by the week of June 16, according to Wendy Griffith.
Says Gould, "It doesn't look like an MTV video, which I like, it's definitely different."
This wasn't the first time connections to Hitchcock had appeared within FNM's music, whether coincidental or not, there are episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents titled The Perfect Crime (1957, Starring Vincent Price) and The Morning After (1959 Starring Jeanette Nolan).
Mike Patton also displayed his respect for the film director by often wearing a t-shirt printed with Hitchcock's face, the shirt appears in the Falling To Pieces video.
The Hitchcock connections appear with Patton in other projects. In 2001 Patton collaborated with Dan The Automator and Jennifer Charles releasing Music To Make Love to Your Old Lady By under the group name Lovage. The title of the record is a play on an album featuring Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Music To Be Murdered By. The song titles Lifeboat, To Catch A Thief and Strangers On A Train are all Hitchcock films, they even liftsamples from their silver-screen counterparts.
Patton is heavily infuenced by film in his music, many of his projects take their name directly from films (Mondo Cane, Fantomas, Peeping Tom), not to mention the film references in his lyrics. Patton has of course written accompanying scores to many films as well as appearing of the screen. In 2010 he revealed his favourite movie scores which included Oskar Sala's music from Hitchcock's film The Birds.
"An incredible score with no known musical 'notes.' The entire score was produced by an early electronic instrument called the 'mixtrautonium,' and is an amazing example of how sound design and sound effects can be fused with image to great musical effect. Hats off to director Alfred Hitchcock for realizing this and creating a truly terrifying sonic bastard."