Psycho

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Psycho

By | November 2012
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Voyeurism
Alfred Hitchcock, is known for often making ‘Voyeurs’ out of audiences. He uses a German technique created by Eisenstein called ‘subjective camera use’, or’ juxtaposition’. The idea behind juxtaposition relies on a simple formula of A+B=C. This technique can often put you in the subject’s point of view since you are seeing what they see. To elaborate, perhaps A would be a shot of a man with a blank look on his face, B would be a shot of a can of soup. Audiences would then infer that because of A+B, C would then mean that the man is hungry. Hitchcock often uses this technique to identify with characters (he uses this to a full extent to attach ourselves to Marion then leave the audience clueless after ‘Mother’ kills her) and to express voyeurism. Voyeurism is the act of someone watching/spying on another person/people without their knowledge during their private time. Voyeurism derives from the singular noun ‘Voyeur’ which in turn derives from the French root ‘voir’, meaning ‘to see’ A few films that would exemplify this would be Vertigo, Rear Window, and even Birds. Voyeurism is perhaps the most prevalent in the film ‘Psycho’ although ‘Rear Window’ could give it a run for its money. Right off the bat, in the opening sequence, the camera (after many pans and dissolves) chooses to descend into one of the many windows, this one being a hotel. The blinds are narrowly concealing the inside. The camera then pauses at the window then voyeuristically intrudes into the room, breaking the privacy barrier, seeing as Marion Crane is in her white underwear (which symbolizes her ‘pureness’ as she hasn’t stolen the money yet). Another example of Voyeurism in ‘Psycho’ is the part of the film where the suspicious cop is following Marion. Following from afar and watching her without her knowledge is a clear form of Voyeurism. Marion also exemplifies a use of Voyeurism when she overhears the conversation (which she should not be hearing) between Mother and...