It’s been recently claimed by Nick Wrigley on Home Theatre Forum that James Stewart‘s brown suit in Vertigo is not really brown but aubergine, which is a kind of blending of brown with a little red or violet thrown in. To my knowledge nobody has ever made such a claim since Vertigo‘s release 54 years ago, but nothing is too weird when you get into the world of Bluray film dweebs and their anal-tech obsessions.
“Looking at the UK Blu-ray of Vertigo, Jimmy’s supposedly ‘brown’ suit is mostly a dark aubergine. Sometimes it looks brownish, but mostly it looks aubergine. My friend commented ‘you just can’t get suits that colour these days…look at it, it’s gorgeous.’ Is there a chance it was a beautiful aubergine suit on the VistaVision negative, but optically reduced 35mm dye transfer prints made it ‘brown’? Or am I barking up the wrong aubergine?”
I wrote yesterday that in a curiously colored Vertigo DCP I was shown in late August Stewart’s brown suit has morphed into a kind of violet-brown or purplish brown.
I only know that Stewart’s Scottie Ferguson has been wearing the same diarrhea-brown suit in countless viewings of Vertigo and now suddenly there’s a new aubergine meme working its way into the conversation? If it’s been aubergine all along why didn’t someone make that claim years or decades ago?
Even if Stewart’s suit was very subliminally aubergine on some level on the Vertigo set, the suit color in the Vertigo DCP that I saw on 8.28 is significantly more violet-shaded than in any Vertigo image I’ve ever seen. Talk about a whiter shade of pale — this is a purple shade of brown.
I know what Stewart’s suit looked like in Robert Harris and Jim Katz‘s 1996 70mm restored version of Vertigo, and in all those stills I’ve seen over the years and it was always plain earth brown…period. No redness, no purple or violet tones, none of that.
I’m asking now for all members of the Secret Vertigo Aubergine Society (i.e., those who’ve always secretly believed that Stewart’s suit was aubergine but didn’t want to say anything for whatever perverse reason) to come out now and declare themselves. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m rather infuriated about this. I intend to stop this aubergine thing in its tracks right now if I can. I will not give up and say, “Oh, gee, I guess I’m color-blind now and have been color-blind all along…just call me an aubergine convert now that Nick Wrigley has opened my eyes!”
How many people use the word aubergine in common conversation, much less know what it means?
It’s always been brown, brown, brown all the way, believe me. Don’t listen to these guys. The aubergine thing is absurd.