Kim Novak clarifies criticism of ‘The Artist’
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.