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Psycho and Gladiator

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Zeta Blakeley How is death and gender represented in Psycho Alfred Hitchcock and Gladiator by Ridley Scott? Films are a masterful blend of artistic perfection and superb casual viewing. Like a painting is made up of colours, shapes and many brush strokes, a film is made up of camera angles, camera shots, and sound. Both existing within a context and a culture. Psycho and Gladiator are based in two different time periods with different perceptions of death and gender. Psycho, which was released in 1960 and set in, what was then modern time, a horror movie taken from the novel by Robert Bloch was influenced by life in 1960, viewers wanted to see something realistic and similar to how the viewers lived to have a better effect on scaring them. Gladiator, released in 2000, a roman epic set in 180ad was influenced by life in 180ad, as well as what viewers wanted to see in 2000, they wanted to be taken into another world, or see what life was like before them whilst being entertained by a gripping story line. Plus to set a film in the past, it needs to be accurate so it's believable. ...read more.


In Psycho Marian Crane is trapped by three walls and her murderer, yet unlike Maximus she actually has a chance of escaping, however small that chance might be. Maximus is completely surrounded has a considerably less chance of escaping, (even if he wanted to). The differences of the two locations is definitely more obvious, meaning the differences between the two characters are more obvious as well because each director has based the location on the character they want their audience focused on. Marian is an embezzler who is running away from her job, so the location of her death scene is in a shower, that's in a small motel room, that's on an old, abandoned high way. Secret. Maximus is part of a one man struggle to attain justice and freedom for himself, his family, and his country; he's a solider of Rome, a gladiator, strong and proud. This is why this scene is in front of thousands of civilians of the country he was fighting for which was very male dominated, just like the arena which featured pillars that could be perceived as phalli and why Commodus didn't just kill him whilst he was chained up in a small cellar with just the two of them and Quintus, that would depreciate the honour. ...read more.


She defies the typical behaviour of a woman by stealing from her employer and eloping by herself, a very obvious subvert convention. Similarly, in Gladiator, Scott uses male stereotypes to make Maximus even more like a hero. He is strong and powerful, and to proud to turn down a battle for righteousness even though he is wounded. The death of each character and life after death is presented as complete opposites. Marian Crane is gruesomely knifed to death leading into nothing. Her death is represented by the plughole in this scene, dark, and empty. Whereas Maximus dies victorious in his battle, after defeating Commodus and setting his men free, and we can see his life continue in this different world. He may have died in one but was born in another, kind of like when one door closes, another one opens. Completely opposite from dark and empty. In conclusion, both films had a profound effect on the lives of their audiences due to each director successfully manipulating their audiences to think and feel the way they want them to, by using a wide variety of cinematic techniques and psychological mind games scaring people out of the showers and asking the age old question, "What happens after death?" ...read more.

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