AS Film Studies.
An Analysis of a film extract 1500 words. (30 marks)
Choose a film, select a 3-5 minute sequence and analyse how one or more micro elements create meaning and provoke response from you and the audience.
I have chosen the 1960’s movie ‘Psycho’ produced by Alfred Hitchcock. ‘Pyscho’ was a landmark movie that cost only $800,000 to make, yet has earned over $40,000,000 worldwide, this is due to the fact that it pushed and broke the boundaries of the horror genre. The film received four academy award nominations and is regarded as one of Hitchcocks best films. I have chosen to focus on the micro element, cinematography in my chosen 3-5 minute sequence. I chose to focus on the cinematography in the ‘shower scene’ as I found many things I could discuss.
Hitchcock made no secret of his methods of using the camera to tell a story and affect the emotions of his audience: ‘The point is to draw the audience right inside the situation instead of leaving them to watch it from outside, from a distance. And you can do this only by breaking the action into details and cutting from one to the other, so that each detail is forced in turn on the attention of the audience and reveals its psychological meaning.’ My Own Methods, Hitchcock, 1937.
At the beginning of the scene, you see the woman writing on some paper, we are initially unable to see what she is writing but the camera changes to an over the shoulder shot so the writing on the paper is visible and although it makes no sense, it is obviously important, the camera then cuts back to the first shot and shows the woman rip up the paper, the audience is left wondering and feeling anxious. The camera then pans to follow the woman into the bathroom, I feel this lures the audience into a false sense of security as we are made to feel that everything is fine. The audience is then left waiting for the inevitable which builds up the tension and suspense. Hitchcock then wants the audience to feel calm as if...
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