"Psycho" Parlour Scene Analysis

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Everyone has as a good and evil side to him or her. In this scene of Psycho it shows the both sides of Marion and Norman. Through the use of camera angles, film techniques, dialogue, and sound effects, the film portrays the main characters, as they are being trapped, unable to escape their state of mind, the guilt of their actions. These sides are shown mostly through the lighting. Certain conflicts and how the characters deal with them and each other are what shape the structure of the movie. These conflicts show the audience many sides of good and evil portrayed by the different characters in particular Marion and Norman. Lighting is used expressively in the film. When Marion goes to the Bates motel the lighting is more subdued. Norman's office, parlour and house are all dark with very less light and prominent shadows. Lighting is also used to hide the identity of the killer. In the parlour itself, Hitchcock begins his work. The room is small, barely big enough for the two chairs, the lamp table, coffee table, and chest that occupy it. On the lamp table is a lamp, which is the only source of light in the room and thus the key light within the scene. The characters' positions within the room and how they are lit by this single source key the audience to the characterizations. Marion, for instance, sits near and slightly behind the lamp. Her face is well lit, and she, like the lamp, appears to radiate glowing warmth. Despite the fact that she has stole forty thousand dollars from her employer, she is not hidden in shadows of evil or consumed by the darker side of her nature. Leaving Marion in light indicates that redemption and atonement is possible. The angle of the light source for this scene is high on the wall between the two figures, but closer and illuminating Marion more. The light falls on Marion’s head, and a beam of light points directly at Marion. This suggests that Marion is the focus of Norman’s attention and makes her seem more vulnerable...
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