Caveh Takes the Vertigo Tour

Posted by FocusFeatures.com | December 1, 2008
James Stewart in Vertigo James Stewart in Vertigo

Filmmaker Caveh Zahedi travels in James Stewart's footsteps as he goes on the Vertigo tour in San Francisco. Fittingly for a film all about doubling, he comes up with two perspectives on his experience.

There is perhaps no greater cinephilic activity in San Francisco than paying homage to one of the city’s great films – Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo – by taking Jesse Warr’s Vertigo tour. Beginning in San Juan Bautista, traveling through Mission Dolores and its famous cemetery, and winding up at the Golden Gate Bridge and Nobb Hill, Warr’s tour takes fans of this thrilling and psychologically complex film on a personalized trip into the past.

As part of FilmInFocus’s suite of articles about the city, we asked Caveh Zahedi, one of San Francisco’s most independent-minded filmmakers, to take the tour and summarize its virtues for our readers. But like the film’s Detective Scottie Ferguson, played by Jimmy Stewart, Zahedi found himself trapped between two views of his experience. We present them both.

Caveh Zahedi

Caveh Takes the Vertigo Tour (Take One)

Caveh Zahedi takes a philosophical look back at his experiences on the Vertigo tour in the first of twin pieces.

Caveh Zahedi and Jesse Warr

Caveh Takes the Vertigo Tour (Take Two)

In the second of his two pieces, Caveh Zahedi recalls the more absurd moments of his Vertigo reconstruction.

Caveh Zahedi is an Iranian-American writer-director and actor. After trying unsuccessfully to kickstart his film career in Paris, Zahedi attended UCLA, where he made his first feature with Greg Watkins, A Little Stiff (1991), an experimental film which played at Sundance. He followed it with the controversial road trip documentary I Don't Hate Las Vegas Anymore (1994). After making Tripping with Caveh – about taking mushrooms with musician Will Oldham – and the video diary movie In the Bathtub of the World, both in 2001, Zahedi completed his long-gestating project I Am A Sex Addict (2005), a hybrid documentary about his own addiction problems. After winning Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You at the Gotham Awards, the film was picked up for distribution by IFC Films. Zahedi has appeared as an actor in Alexander Payne's Citizen Ruth (1996), Richard Linklater's Waking Life (2001), and Bob Byington’s RSO [Registered Sex Offender] (2008) and currently teaches film at San Francisco State University and California College of the Arts in Oakland.

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