Nov 12 2010

Horror but fun

Published by at 7:32 pm under Uncategorized

Psycho is a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Though I have heard him since I was a kid, I have never really had a chance to watch his movies until the media class.

At the beginning of the film, the camera shows us the city where the story takes place and the music gives me a feeling that everything is possible in this seem-like-normal city.

It is no doubt that there are different kinds of gazes in this film, but sometime I find it difficult to define whether it is “spectator‘s gaze” or just a normal angle. The most obvious scene for me that it is “spectator‘s gaze” is that the camera is focusing on the money in the bed while Marion is changing her clothes and then she put the money in the suitcase. Shooting what Marion is doing from her back is like we are gazing at her secretly from behind and she doesn’t know that she is being watched.

“Eye scenes”

In the film, there are two “eye scenes”. One is when Norman peeking Marion from a small hole and the other one is when Marion is dead and her face falls on the ground.

Both of the “eye scenes” gives me a sense of time is condensed and so is the atmosphere. It is like everything beside what Norman is doing has stopped, even the time and I think that would be a feeling when a person who is fascinated with his/her hobby. Then when Marion is dead and she falls on the ground. It really makes me feel like “Oh! This is how a life ends…” and life is so fragile and short. I was not even breathing when these “eye scenes” were screened.

How “M” is related to “Psycho”?

I remember that Prof. Herzog mentioned that Hitchcock was influenced deeply by Fritz Lang and so when I was watching “Psycho”, I tried to link “Psycho” and “M” together if there was any evidences in film that could be able to show Lang’s influence to Hitchcock and I found something! I noted that they both use music to show a character’s inside and his/her dark and ugly desire. A series of medium long shot, medium shot and medium close-up is used for indicating that a character is getting closer to some event or the truth.


This is when Lila is getting close to the house and the truth.



I don’t think this is low-key lighting, but I don’t know what I can use for describing it. But this scene shows the darkness of Norman!


The difference between the reactions towards fear of men and women for me is that when men are scared in the film, they are not able to scream and maybe it has something to do with masculinity and men’s image.


Women scream when they are scared.


Everything is all happened in the blink of an eye.


Both of them have intensive facial expression in this scene. I like how they look like…

I found many mysteries in this film. For example, when the officer first shows up, I thought he would be one of the key character in the film since there were many close-ups of his face and his sunglasses but turns out he’s not! It doesn’t make sense for me when there are many close-ups for a guy who is not a key character in the film! And I don’t know why the film keeps shooting the shower head when Marion is enjoying the shower. It made me think that there would be blood come from the shower head instead of water later, but at the same when I was watching the film I kept reminding myself it was not a ghost film!

I still don’t see how voyeurism is related to femininity. From the small hole, I can see that Marion is taking off her clothes. So does it mean that Hitchcock tries to show that women are born to be watched?

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Horror but fun”

  1.   Jenny Luon 17 Nov 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Cindy I loved your post. First off I just want to saw that I like how you include pictures of scenes from the actual film in your interpretation and responses because it helps me see just exactly what your talking about. I like how you brought up and compared males and female characters and how they were portrayed. I like how you made the analysis involving the part where Arbogast was stabbed. Now that I think back he didn’t scream compared to Marion when she was stabbed repetitively. For the scene where Marion was being watched by Norman, I think that we can assume that Hitchcock is trying to tell us something important about the roles of male and female genders. Possibly that females are to be watched and that males have to maintain this masculinity and power among them.

  2.   robertchang89on 10 Dec 2010 at 1:17 am

    I agree I don’t believe that voyeurism is related to feminism, if anything it’s related to masculinity as you pointed out. Norman and us the audience are the ones in power as we spy on Marion. She is helpless and Hithcock does a perfect job in showing. The audience is always given more information than the character. We know that she is being watched while Marion doesn’t. What’s tricky about which gender has power is that you can’t say Hitchcock intended women to be portrayed as weak. In the end isn’t it the female side of Normal the side that overpowers him and forces him to kill?

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