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Alfred Hitchcocks Creation Of Tension In Psycho And The Birds

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Introduction

Alfred Hitchcock's Creation Of Tension In "Psycho" And "The Birds" Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most well known movie directors of all time. He is especially well known for his skill to create tension in an effective way. Hitchcock is able to create tension and suspense by using certain camera angles and a careful selection of music and sounds. Hitchcock has made such an impact in the film industry that he is now known as the "Master of Suspense". Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone in 1899. From a young age he enjoyed reading novels, especially those by Dickens, G K Chesterton and Edgar Allan Poe. He left school when he was fourteen and started work at the Islington film studios in 1920. In 1927 he directed his first film, The Lodger in which he appeared in himself. When Hitchcock started making films audio was not invented. His first films were silent so when sound was used in films, Hitchcock was able to use both sound and silence in a way that would complement each other to create tension. Hitchcock has made some of the most psychological films of all time. His highlights include Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1961). Hitchcock used sounds to boost the effect to tension and suspense. He also knew the importance of storyboarding. Before filming a film Hitchcock knew exactly what he wanted and has cartoons demonstrating the camera angles he would use and the way the film would progress. ...read more.

Middle

The last scene in the film is literally black and white with dark colours which contrast with the start of the film which was light and fluffy. In 'Psycho' Hitchcock used a lot of suspense and only three shocks. This kept the audience is suspense all through the film which usually led to nothing. But in 'The Birds' there are lots of shocks. The shocks earlier on in the film are completely unexpected. For example the bird attacking Melany while she was in the boat was unexpected. It is easy to imagine people in cinemas spilling their popcorn. Once the audience realizes that the birds are attacking people and get used to the sudden shocks Hitchcock then starts to use suspense like he did in 'Psycho'. Hitchcock uses his experience of making silent films to make brilliant films using limited amounts of dialogue. In 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' Hitchcock uses a limited amount of dialogue and lots of action. In both 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' Hitchcock uses techniques inspired by his favourite writers. Hitchcock traps both of his main characters in 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' in different situations. In 'Psycho' Marion is trapped in the bath and when Norman Bates starts stabbing her there is nowhere for her to escape. Similarly in 'The Birds', Melany is trapped in the phone booth. Flocks of birds are attacking the phone booth which creates the feeling of claustrophobia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Everything looks calm as if nothing has happened. 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' were very successful films made by Hitchcock. Hitchcock has used different techniques in both films to create tension and suspense and both have been very successful. In 'Psycho' Hitchcock uses false suspense all through the film which has usually led to nothing. He has only used three shocks which were Marion's stabbing, Arbogast's stabbing and the revelation of Norman Bates mother. In 'The Birds' Hitchcock uses shocks all through the film after thirty minutes of light romance at the start. He increases the level of shock as the film progresses. The first shock he uses is Melany being bitten by a bird and the last shock in the film is the mass attack from the birds. Out of 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' I have enjoyed 'The Birds' the most. I think that 'The Birds' was better than 'Psycho' because it has a very misleading storyline. The audience is made to feel very bored of the film at the start of the film but as the story progresses and the birds start attacking the audience is hooked to the film and is on the edge of their seats the whole time. The final scene where the birds are massed is a brilliant use of anti-climax as against the audience's expectations the birds do not attack. However they ominously dominate the screen as the car edges away. The audience senses it is only a matter of time before they attack again. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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