Psycho Analysis

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Psycho Analysis

Psycho was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The horror film was made in the 1960s based on the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures in 1960 to 1968 and then by Universal studios 1968 to present. The thriller illustrates the encounter of secretary Marian Crane played by Janet Leigh who is hiding in an abandoned motel and the motels owner Norman Bates played by Anthony Perkins, it then proceeds to describe the aftermath of their encounter. The film was nominated for four Oscars including Best supporting actress for Janet Leigh and Best director for Alfred Hitchcock. The picture also gained five wins, Best motion picture at the Edgar awards and again Janet Leigh Best supporting actress at the Golden Globe awards.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock was born on the 13th August 1899 in London and died on the 29th April 1980 in Bel Air, Los Angles, California. The British filmmaker and producer developed many techniques in the horror and thriller genre. He directed more than fifty feature films and he remains one of the most popular and most recognised filmmakers in this modern day. Psycho was one of Hitchcock’s most successful films. Produced on a highly constrained budget of $800,000, it was shot in black-and-white on a spare set. The extraordinary violence of the shower scene and the innocent lives extinguished by a disturbed murderer were all Ideas of Hitchcock and are now being used in many recent horror films. For the film Psycho Hitchcock was nominated Best Director at the Oscars in 1961 and also Best Director at the academy awards. He was also nominated for another five Oscars for films including Rear window, Spellbound, Life boat and Rebecca.

The film Psycho was seminal, it changed audience positioning and made big changes in the film industry. For example before the 1960s, the destination in horror films was usually far away from industrial cities and in abandoned places making the audience reassured but also less sensitive to real life situations. But then Hitchcock brought horror into ‘our’ town or city creating that massive sense or realism that the murderer could be your next door neighbour. Audiences in the 1960 would have never experienced this therefore it would make them more fearful and it also raises questions about the amount of horror, violence we should be witnessing.

Tzvetan Todorov is an intellectual author particularly known for his work on the structure of narrative. Todorov’s approach is based on the belief in a common basis of human experience and the undying narrative behind all human activity. His sequence is made up of five propositions highlighting the basic state of narrative. The three main propositions for the film psycho would be that the state of equilibrium is at the start when everything is in order, it is then disrupted by Marion running away with the money and then new equilibrium is everything back to normal. Although apart from one disruption of Marion’s getaway there are many throughout the film for example Marion’s murder, Arbogast’s murder and also the conflict between Norman, Lila and Sam.

At the begging credits Hitchcock has used slide transitions to showing the captions of the film. The transition is from the left and the right cutting through the middle then leaving the director name ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ and the title ‘Psycho’ etc. Bold white letters are used in contrast to the black background to make the words stand out. The distorted letters are like a puzzle which connotes chaos and shows the natural order of things is disturbed foreboding anonymous signs of danger. The time, date and place is shown just like a detective putting the audience into the position. A voyeuristic feel of the camera as it pans to the right and then zooms into the private world of Marion and Sam. Marion is shown in this first seem to be promiscuous sleeping with a married man but her nakedness makes her seem vulnerable. A...
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