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In what ways does Hitchcock manipulate the audiences point of view in the shower scene in psycho?

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Introduction

In what ways does Hitchcock manipulate the audiences point of view in the shower scene in psycho? Hitchcock has a unique style when it comes to films and manipulation of the audience. He likes to give the audience several types of view that in turn give us an incite into the characters feelings and emotions. He likes to change the lighting, camera angle and mise-en-scene to manipulate he viewer's point of view. He is a talented director with unique ability to twist the audience's opinions and play on emotions with the greatest of ease. In the shower scene in Psycho, The first shot he chooses to give us is of a voyeuristic one. He show us Norman Bates moving a picture aside so that he can peep into the room of Marion a guest at the Bates motel. The picture he moves out of the way to see into her room is one that depicts the rape of Lucretia a well-known piece of art and fitting with the act of Norman! We then see him peeping through a hole in the wall of the young lady getting undressed then the shot swings to the audience being the one looking through the hole. ...read more.

Middle

The next shot is of the showerhead with a jet of water spraying into the bath. Marion takes off her robe and gets into the shower. We only see Marion in the shower from the collarbone upwards ad it would be pushing TV too far if they were to show anymore. It leaves the audience with a feeling of curiosity. The slight glimpse of skin lets the audience's imagination put the rest of the picture together. The camera at this point is pointing downwards on Marion. This makes the audience feel more dominant towards the actress. It also connotes Marion to be vulnerable and submissive. When we see her start to wash herself it makes the audience feel relaxed and lulls them into a false sense of security. The fact that she is in the shower, naked, also gives the impression of no escape, as she can't go anywhere. Then there is a shot so that we can see Marion from the side and also the faint outline of the bathroom door, through the shower curtain. This is the turning point in the film as when the door is seen to open and a person walk inside, the audiences feelings go from relaxed to full of fear. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point when we see a shot of Marion's face she is still surrounded by light and has that feeling of purity and divinity about her. As she grabs the curtain we get a shot of the curtain coming away from its rails and as this happens we hear Marion fall out of the bath. We don't actually get a shot of her falling it is just presumed by the audience that she falls. We then see the draped over the bath followed by a shot of Marion's feet in the bath as the blood swirls down the drain into the plug's vortex. The idea of the blood swirling down the drain could be interpreted as Marion's life being washed away with the blood. When we see this we subconsciously know that Marion is dead. WE then get a final shot of the camera zooming in on Marion's eye. The light is still surrounding her. This is when we know that Marion is dead and this is also when the fear begins to fade. The fading of the shot mimics the fading of the audiences fear. There is a strange sense of relief, which is also a common trait of gothic fiction. The calm after the storm. Holly Wigley SF17 ...read more.

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