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Analyse how Hitchcock Uses a variety of presentational devices and visual images To disturb and shock the audience In the two murder scenes in Psycho.

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Introduction

Lewis Webb Year 10 Coursework Media: Pyscho Question: Analyse how Hitchcock Uses a variety of presentational devices and visual images To disturb and shock the audience In the two murder scenes in Psycho "Hitchcock stunned the world in 1960 with the horror film that pushed back the boundaries of acceptability. He wanted a reaction, and he got one. Audiences fainted, walked out and boycotted screenings but they wouldn't forget the horror that was Psycho." We have been studying the acclaimed thriller 'Psycho' produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In this essay I will be analysing the two murder scenes and how visual images, (images seen on screen that stick in the mind of the audience or have some greater significance), and careful presentational devices, (camera shots, sound, lighting etrc) have created this filming masterpiece. The film was released on June 16th 1960 and premiered in New York. Audiences across the world were shocked and disturbed about the graphic content of the film. The film had a number of issues that would change censorship laws forever. For example, then the film was certified 18 but now it is 15, which proves there has been a huge change in the way films are perceived by the present generation of people. In the film we see sex out of marriage, nudity, murder and hints of transvestism. The film proved to be a landmark in cinematography. And the mise en scene (put into the scene) is brilliantly produced to give the film several different levels of meaning. The traditional Hollywood film would have a beginning, middle and an end but in Psycho the audience can't follow the film because Hitchcock broke all the traditional film making rules. If you start with the leading lady you end with the leading lady but he doesn't. Instead forty five minutes into the film she is killed and the audience is left feeling shocked and confused. ...read more.

Middle

The first time Norman appears in the film he looks a kind young man who always tries to do good. But when later on in the conversation about Bates' troubles with his mother an intensity comes into the performance and his whole character embroils in new expressions and tones and for the first time we see the dominating effect of Norman which makes the audience feel a little uneasy and nervous. The reoccurring themes in which entail the film throughout are ones that make the film what it is and how it is considered ingenious work by perhaps the greatest film director ever. The theme of the mother throughout is very unusual and doesn't seem to give a huge impact until the story is unravelled at the end. One theme that does have a strong influence on the film is voyeurism. But this kind of pleasurable viewing is very discreet in certain parts of the production. For example at the very beginning of the film the camera pans along the sky until a long shot of a city appears then it begins to focus on a building until we have a close up shot of one window. As the camera focuses through the window it pans across the room towards a bed. On it Marion Crane and Sam Loomis are dressing, obviously just after they have had sex, for the first time in cinema history we see a women, Marion semi naked adjusting her bra. This it's self would shock and disturb the audience. Notice her underwear is black which symbolises her sin. Birds are seen as watchers of the world, which can be related to voyeurism. The sub-theme birds watching runs throughout the film with subtle clues such as Marion's second name, 'Crane' the city she comes from, 'Phoenix' and Norman's unusual hobby of taxidermy where we can see stuffed birds in the house and motel. ...read more.

Conclusion

This entire question the audience are asking themselves becoming more nervous and disturbed. Like a devoted, loving son would, he dumped the body and everything of hers including the money, and cleaned the place up. Where was the film leading to know, the money was a red-herring, along with the policeman it was just put there to mount the suspense. The second murder is of Milton Arbogast, a private detective hired by Marion's boss to recover the money. But we are less sympathetic to Arbogast as he has invaded the space of Bates and his mother. As Arbogast slowly walks up the stairs in Bates' house, again the theme of two different worlds, we have a quick close up shot of his face, here dramatic irony takes it's effect, we see the door opening but Arbogast doesn't the music climaxes and the shot changes to a high angle and the 'mother' rushes out and stabs him. He stumbles backwards down the stairs, we have a mid shot of him and he falls to the bottom where Bates' mothers repeatedly stab him. The importance of these two murders relies on what we think and not what we see. In the end the truth is revealed. Bates acts as his mother due to the fact that he killed her and her lover and committed both murders without any motives just his love of mother to blame. The loose ends are left loose, and the narrative can not be brought to a stop. Psycho's influence has shown a clear impact on how films are made and distributed. Without the innovations of Alfred Hitchcock, the sound, editing, mise en scene and cinematography, Psycho would not be, it's thanks to Alfred's deep roots into traditional film making that the audiences are shocked, disturbed, surprised and confounded by the sheer brilliance of one of the greatest films ever made. There is no closure with Psycho this imaginative creation has yet to be matched. ...read more.

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