Kim No­vak clar­i­fies crit­i­cism of ‘The Artist’

The Washington Times Daily - - Life -

and the Rose,” “Snoopy Come Home,” “Char­lotte’s Web” and “The Magic of Lassie.” Their Broad­way mu­si­cals in­cluded 1974’s “Over Here!” and stag­ings of “Mary Pop­pins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the mid2000s.

Son Jef­frey Sher­man wrote on Face­book that his fa­ther “wanted to bring hap­pi­ness to the world and, un­ques­tion­ably, he suc­ceeded.”

“His love and his pray­ers, his phi­los­o­phy and his po­etry will live on for­ever,” his son wrote. “For­ever his songs and his ge­nius will bring hope, joy and love to this small, small world.”

Kim No­vak is clar­i­fy­ing why she used the word “rape” to de­scribe how she felt about “The Artist.”

The 79-year-old “Ver­tigo” ac­tress, who will be hon­ored next month at the TCM Clas­sic Film Fes­ti­val, said dur­ing a phone in­ter­view with the As­so­ci­ated Press onmon­day that hear­ing the score from the Al­fred Hitch­cock film used in the re­cent Os­car-win­ning homage to the silent­film era re­minded her of the same feel­ings she ex­pe­ri­enced when she was raped as a child.

“It was very painful,” Miss No­vak said. “When I said it was like a rape, that was how it felt to me. I had ex­pe­ri­enced in my youth be­ing raped, and so I iden­ti­fied with a real act that had been done to me. I didn’t use that word lightly.”

Miss No­vak, who played the dual role of both a sui­ci­dal tro­phy wife and a mo­rose work­ing girl op­po­site Jimmy Ste­wart in the 1958 thriller, said in a state­ment re­leased in Jan­uary by her man­ager that she wanted “to re­port a rape” and that the film­mak­ers of “The Artist” had no rea­son “to de­pend on Bernard Her­rmann’s score from ‘Ver­tigo’ to pro­vide more drama.”

Miss No­vak’s com­ments drew crit­i­cism from rape cri­sis groups, which noted that pla­gia­rism was not the same as a sex­ual as­sault.

“I never re­ported my real rape, so I felt the need to re­port this one,” Miss No­vak said. “I felt that some­one needed to speak up be­cause the mu­sic has been taken ad­van­tage of too much. I hope that in the fu­ture, maybe some­how it will do some good.”

Michel Hazanavi­cius, the wri­ter­di­rec­tor of “The Artist,” which won five Academy Awards last month, in­clud­ing best picture and orig­i­nal score, re­sponded to Miss No­vak in Jan­uary, not­ing that the film was “a love let­ter to cinema” and that he loves “Bernard Her­rmann, and his mu­sic has been used in many dif­fer­ent films, and I’m very pleased to have it in mine.”

Miss No­vak said the mo­tion picture academy sent her a let­ter dis­ap­prov­ing of her mak­ing the state­ment while “The Artist” was in Os­car con­tention. She ac­knowl­edged that af­ter get­ting “over the shock” that the “Ver­tigo” love theme was used in “The Artist,” she ac­tu­ally en­joyed the film and thought it de­served its Os­car glory — ex­cept for the best-orig­i­nalscore tro­phy.

Kim No­vak

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