Film Studies– Assignment 1Mujeeb Ahmad16U00455 The 1960’s classic byAlfred Hitchcock, “Psycho” is a movie set in America and the storyrevolves around a young woman “Marion Crane”. Phoenix-based MarionCrane, who has worked for ten years as an assistant to real estate agent Lowery,she realizes that her boyfriend, Sam Loomis, can’t get married due to moneyissues, as he is a hardware store salesman who has a huge amount of debt on hisname as a result of having to pay provision to her divorced wife. Marion seesan opportunity when one of her employer’s rich clients pays his account with $40,000cash, Marion who has to take the money to the bank plans something else. Beinga Friday and the last day of work, she believes she can escape from her townimmediately without someone noticing with the money to join her boyfriend inCalifornia where he lives, before her employer would even think that she haswent away with the money the earliest by Monday.
Despite a number of closecalls, Marion is able to make it to twenty miles short of California at theBates Motel where she stops on a rainy Saturday night. The motel becameisolated ever since the state highway was moved. The motel is run by NormanBates who is extremely friendly and lives with his mother in the big, old houseon the hill behind the motel.
Although she doesn’t meet Norman’s mother, Marionafter hearing her arguments with her son knows that she is angry andcontrolling woman. Norman admits that his mother is mentally ill. That night,Ms.Crane has a change of heart and plans to return to Phoenix to give back the money. But she never makes it eitherto Phoenix or Fairvale. As such, many people came looking for her, includingMarions boyfriend – who is suspected of being in a partner with Marion instealing the money – Marion’s worried sister Lila Crane who convinces Marionsemployer to not report to the police yet and forgive Marion if she returns themoney and to appoint a private investigator named Arbogast. At many moments, allthe characters make their way to the mysterious Bates Motel, where Mrs.
Bateswill take every action whatsoever required for maintaining control of what happensin the Bates Motel and the Bates family. Filmmaker AlfredHitchcock was nicknamed the “Master of Suspense” for employing a kindof psychological suspense in his films, producing a distinct viewer experience.Throughout his career, Hitchcock continued to believe in cinema as a visualmedium. For him, dialogue and sound should remain secondary to the image intelling the story. Hitchcock said that silent pictures were the purest form ofcinema. Hitchcock outlined three fundamental approaches to using images infilm. “Montage,” according to Hitchcock’s definition, “means theassembly of pieces of film which moved in rapid suggestion before the eyecreates an idea”From the start of themovie the music playing in the background is very intense and creates a senseof curiosity which tags along the main theme of the movie very well. Courtesythe music the viewer engages with the tone of the movie very well fromthe first second.
The guidance of the attention of the spectator to differentelements of the developing action in succession is, in general, characteristicof the film which in regards of this movie can be seen clearly that whenever animportant part of the movie is upcoming the music starts to get loud and thebeats get low. Montage editing isused to join a sequence of cuts into one fluent edit making the scene framesmove fast or slow. In Psycho, this technique is used to make the killing scenemore realistic and to hide the fact that the antagonist doesn’t actually touchher with the knife. This edit is quite old and so doesn’t show the realism ofmodern films but at the time created a sense of panic and energy throughout theaudience. In the movie “Psycho” the technique Montage has been usedvery cleverly to create anxiety and fear for the audience. The scene in whichMs.Crane was stabbed by the knife multiple times in the shower, its build up createda sense of fear as the attacker was shown approaching from the back and behindthe shower curtains it created fear of the unknown in the eyes of the audienceas it was sudden and no one expected it to end like this.
While Ms.Crane wasgetting stabbed her body was shown very cleverly and her movements werecaptured and put together impeccably with the right contrast of showing theshower and the blood drops dripping into the water, Overall the whole scenariowas captured and shown to the audience that as she fell on the bathroom floorthe shower curtain broke and fell on her and her still eye balls were then cutinto the scene through the water draining down into the pipe which had a feelof continuity and smoothness in the scene. As her blood is washed awaydown the drain the camera slowly zooms onto the drain. This is an example ofslow editing. They then use a technique called a match cut and turn the drainwhole into the iris of the dead woman’s left eye. This leaves the audience inshock, and giving the effect that the woman’s life has been washed away by amystery murderer.
Other than the scenein the shower there were many moments in the movie where the audience had asense of fear and anxiety. The scene where the private investigator is climbingup the stairs the camera angle is used very well and the way he was taking hissteps up the stairs it created anxiety and a sense that something was going tohappen and as the scene continued and he got attacked, the whole cut was fromabove which made the knife look bigger and created fear for the audience justbefore the moment as he was stabbed and the attacker was approaching him fromthe room. The whole scene was executed impeccably as the attack was shown froman angle from where it looked like the knife was going through theinvestigators body.