Kim Novak Says She Was 'Violated' By 'The Artist'

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UPDATE: "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius has issued a statement responding to Kim Novak's artistic "rape" claims, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It reads as follows:

"'The Artist' was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew’s) admiration and respect for movies throughout history.  It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Lang, Ford, Lubitsch, Murnau and Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann and his music has been used in many different films and I’m very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly and I’m sorry to hear she disagrees."

Short, simple and respectful -- way to go, Michel. We're sorry you have to deal with this nonsense.

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Generally speaking, using rape as a metaphor is a pretty bad idea; even newbs on "Call of Duty" ought to know better.

But despite conventional wisdom, actress Kim Novak is speaking out over "The Artist's" use of music from her seminal film with director Alfred Hitchcock, "Vertigo" — and she's not pulling any verbal punches.

"I want to report a rape," Novak wrote in a full page ad in the newest issue of Variety. "I feel as if my body — or, at least my body of work — has been violated by the movie, "The Artist.""

At issue is "The Artist" composer Ludovic Bource's decision to lift passages of music from Bernard Hermann's score to 1958 "Vertigo," which co-starred Jimmy Stewart and is one of Hitchcock's best known thrillers. Though Bource and "The Artist" director Michael Hazanavicius acknowledged Hermann's contribution in the credits — something that could hardly be covered up anyway, considering how well known the score from "Vertigo" is — that's not enough for Novak, who feels as though Hazanavicius and Bource were "cheating" by leaning on that audience familiarity to borrow emotional power from "Vertigo."

"This film could and should have been able to stand on its own without depending upon Bernard Herrmann's score from Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" to provide it more drama," Novak wrote. "In my opinion the combined efforts of the composer, director, Jimmy Stewart and myself were all violated.

"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," Novak concluded. "It is essential to safeguard our special bodies of work for posterity, with their original and individual identities intact and protecting."

The Weinstein Company, who is distributing "The Artist," has yet to respond, but one thing's for sure: When someone cries rape in a crowded theater, people listen, so this isn't the last we've heard of this controversy.

Originally published on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 at 4:04 p.m. ET.

Things just got a little serious — lighten up with our silent interview with "The Artist" star Berenice Bejo.

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