Veteran US actress Kim Novak accused the French makers of silent film hit “The Artist” of “rape” Monday for using music from Alfred Hitchcock classic “Vertigo” in their movie vying for Oscars glory.
Novak, who starred in the 1958 Hitchcock thriller, said the makers of “The Artist” — up for a clutch of prizes in Hollywood’s currentawards season — had cheated by only giving a relatively small credit for the music.
“I want to report a rape,” she wrote in a full-page ad in industry daily Variety, adding: “I feel as if my body — or at least my body of work — has been violated by the movie.”
“It is morally wrong for the artistry of our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what they were intended,” added the 78-year-old.
“The Artist,” which tells the story of a silent-era film star’s battle to survive as the “talkies” take over Tinsel Town, is leading the pack for the Golden Globes, to be announced next weekend.
Its French director Michel Hazanavicius hopes for more nods when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces nominees January 24 for the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood’s awards season to be given out next month.
But Novak said the movie — which is almost entirely without sound, apart from accompanying music — uses key parts of Bernard Herrmann’s “Vertigo” score to evoke emotion.
“In my opinion the combined efforts of the composer, director, (Novak’s ‘Vertigo’ co-star) Jimmy Stewart and myself were all violated,” she wrote, slamming the filmmakers for “playing the Vertigo score and using the emotions it engenders as if it were their own.”
“Even though they gave a small credit to only Bernard Herrmann at the end, I believe this to be cheating, at the very least. Shame on them!” she added.
“The Artist” is nominated in six categories at next Sunday’s Golden Globes awards, the second most high-profile prize fest of Hollywood’s awards season, ahead of the February 26 Oscars.
There was no immediate reaction from the makers of “The Artist” to Novak’s criticism.