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Hidden Hitchcock

 
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aderack
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:51 am    Post subject: Hidden Hitchcock Reply with quote

So everyone has seen the "big four" Hitchcock movies: Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho. And probably The Birds. This is a thread for his less obvious movies.

It's interesting that no one ever talks about Family Plot. It's his last movie, and it's certainly not as important as his late '50s and early '60s stuff. Hell, it was made only two years before I was born! By this point, stuff like The Graduate and The Godfather were old news. Star Wars was one year off. This thing must have seemed quaint as hell.

Yet separated in time, and lumped into the Hitchcock catalog... Lord of my loins, is it charming. I especially like the chemistry between the leads. The protagonist reminds me of Gene Wilder, and makes me wish smoking a pipe didn't lead to mouth cancer and looking like Roger Ebert does now. It's such an interesting hero: an awkward, down-on-his-luck actor making ends meet by driving a cab and forced by his demanding girlfriend to use his awkward acting skills to do amateur detective work. He's way too green and amiable to convince any but the most naive leads.

This is usually my favorite Hitchcock. Though a nice competitor is Suspicion. Cary Grant playing Cary Grant. An inversion of the Hitchcock "wrong man" scenario. Some great supporting character work and unexpected deaths. Shifting genre -- it starts off as a screwball comedy, then slowly changes tone... Cary Grant is so slick that you never really know what to make of him.

Just as everyone seems to ignore all the Hitchcock movies after The Birds, most of the stuff between the later British films and Strangers on a Train is more or less ignored -- except for some critical acclaim for Rebecca and Shadow of a Doubt (particularly since Hitchcock kept citing the latter as his favorite), and some technical musing on Rope and Saboteur. There's some really curious stuff in there.

It's obviously Hitchcock, yet he hadn't found his bold later voice and he had moved on a bit from his simpler earlier voice. So you're never quite sure what to expect, in tone and narrative. He's grasping all over for thematic variations, genres to mix. Ways to work within a small budget. Suspicion is maybe a prime example of that. It's almost an alternate universe Hitchcock movie. And it's so great. Where a lot of this middle-period stuff feels kind of... just there, this hits on all levels and is its own little thing.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only actually seen Psycho and Spellbound (both in film school)- which one should I watch next?

Spellbound, by the way, was pretty ridiculous! In it, Hitchcock uses a sort of Marvel Comics take on Freudian psychology to explain how a man's dream predicted a murder, or something like that. But Hitchcock clearly doesn't understand or even care to understand the psychology of dreams! It's like the episode of Astro Boy where Astro Boy takes on a magician who uses the art of stage illusion to steal all the paintings from the Tokyo art gallery. But few of the tricks he uses are explained, and when they are explained they don't make any logical sense. If it was a Sherlock Holmes story it would be like this:

"My dear Watson, I believe the writer of this note is a man of the medical profession, in the latter years of his life, and left-handed. I also deduce he has a clumsy maid, a fondness for chocolate truffles and a glass eye."

"Wonderful, Holmes! How do you do it?"

"I DUNNO, I'M JUST CLEVER, I GUESS. Also I used my Detective Ray!"

It's almost like they're just playing at writing a movie, and assuming the audience is dumb enough not to question it. Actually, Psycho has a bunch of crap like that in it, too! I guess with Psycho the machine of the movie is entertaining enough that you can overlook the pseudo-psychology, and accept it as just a McGuffin. Spellbound is pretty much built around that dumb crap, though!

Anyway, please recommend me a Hitchcock movie to watch, I have only seen a couple.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harveyjames wrote:
Hitchcock uses a sort of Marvel Comics take on Freudian psychology

Oh Man, Hitchcock and bizarro Freud! There's your next comic. Something like half his movies incorporate some element of wacked-out half-understood mid-twentieth-century psychobabble. It's like watching people use The Internet in 1990s TV shows. Psycho is another example -- though at least that saves it for the end as a strange anticlimax.

All that said: believe it or not, Hitchcock was one of the big directors to popularize Freudian symbolism in film. Check out the final shot of North By Northwest. Not subtle in any realm of the twenty-first century imagination, yet... somehow it flew under the radar for a while. This was before Wikipedia, apparently.

Quote:
Actually, Psycho has a bunch of crap like that in it, too!

Hoho! I am ahead of you in the future!

Okay, if you've only seen Psycho and Spellbound (of all the strange choices; I know I must've seen it, though I can't remember it too clearly), you want to see the other three "big ones". Go for Rear Window first, then North By Northwest, then Vertigo. And then... well, you're in the territory of this thread.

Dial M for Murder is good. NO! You want to see Frenzy -- the full, uncut version with tits. It's actually kind of disturbing. It's something like Hitchcock's second-to-last movie, and you come off feeling he'd turned into something of a jaded dirty old man by that point. Then he made Family Plot, which is delightful and takes away all the weird vibes. But yeah, Frenzy. You want to see a bit more "classic" Hitchcock before you watch that, though, because the contrast is what matters.

You might even say it's... lovely.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to note: he has fifty movies, made over exactly fifty years. So this thread covers a lot of ground.

Here's an idea: watch them with your English students. Pretend it's educational.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently working my way through 24... 26(?) Hitchcock movies I have now, and I am completely in love with The Lodger. Both the movie and the character/actor. One of the better silent films I've seen.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His remake of his own The Man Who Knew Too Much (I never saw the original) probably doesn't stand up as an entire film, but there are a few moments that get me every time. One in particular: James Stewart is on the phone with a kidnapper nervously fiddling with the phone book at the police station. Hitch mic'ed that phone book, so throughout the shots of the character talking and the close-ups of his hand messing with the thick book there's this ratcheting sound of the quickly flipping pages. The sound dominates the scene and works better than any score could have at that moment to create a distinctly nervous tone.


Harveyjames, you should also watch Rear Window first because Grace Kelly never looked better than she did as Lisa Fremont. The first shot she appears in is a figurative wet dream--and close to a real one for L. B. Jeffries.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll post my only unsung favorite of Hitchcock's catalogue: Sabotage (1936)

This is pretty much the film that solidified for me that the man wasn't afraid to take chances and really pull the rug out from under the viewer. I'm perhaps a little more shocked that it's actually as competent a film as it is considering that it came out of the 30's.

(ASIDE: The 30's are a decade I have a difficult time enjoying the medium of film from. There's still a lot of silent films being produced, and the talkies are still getting their feet on solid ground. There's more bumbling around from the mid-20's to the late-30's in film than any other medium ever that I can think of.)

So, yeah, Sabotage. The film is a little rough around the edges, yet it does so many things right that I usually just blame all the faults on the medium and it's youth. The pacing and the tension are ramped up at just the right speeds, while the plot seems to wind in tight on itself. I know that out of all his films from the 30's both The Lady Vanishes and The 39 Steps get most of the attention, but I prefer Sabotage to either of those films (thought, 39 Steps kind of has it's own charm that's completely different and also greatly appreciated).

Also, I'm just going to toss out The Trouble With Harry as the most and least Hitchcock film he's made. It's as thought he decided to make a comedy style parody of his own work and style. Looking into a crystal ball of the future he knew that parodies would become popular and decided to get the Hitchcock parody out of the way himself. It's lighthearted and quite fun, but I don't think it would be as fun to watch without a large back history of the director under your belt (or perhaps it is!).

Quote:
everyone seems to ignore all the Hitchcock movies after The Birds

Two things. First you make it sound like there's a wealth of films after The Birds, which there really isn't, there's only five. Also, Marnie (the film to follow The Birds) is quite popular as well, and very well known (thought this may be more due to Sean Connery).

Add to that, Frenzy is the only Hitchcock film I've studied in school. Frenzy is honestly a bit restrained (especially considering the time period it was made) and suffers from it. Not that I'm trying to be overly critical of the film, it's just that it's not as good as it could have been. After going back to it recently (after about 8 years since I'd seen it, and after I'd seen most of his work where previously I'd only seen some of the big ones) it feels like he's trying to make the film just to try some new things and they don't really work as well together as his other films.

About Family Plot: I was supposed to see that in theatres earlier this year, but ended up getting wrapped up in other things and completely missed the event. I had never seen the film before and was really looking forward to seeing it. I'll probably pick it up based on what you've said of it (and I really like Bruce Dern for some unknown reason).

I kind of feel like I've lost my train of thought. I'll just finish off by saying that Shadow of a Doubt is without a doubt my favorite Hitchcock film. I've seen about 2/3 of his films now (most films post 1930, none of his 20's films) and I have yet to be as taken into any one of his worlds as well as Shadow pulls me in. The acting, writing, directing, pacing and atmosphere are all Hitchcock on the top of his game. Rear Window would beat it out for me, and even though my viewings of Rear Window more than triple Shadow, the acting in it and the pacing at times in RW are just a bit stiff. I mean, I'm being pretty nit-picky here, but RW always ends up feeling to me like I'm watching a stage play (which is part of the intent, I know) where with Shadow I always get pulled into gossip and small talk of the world and setting.

Also, probably this will derail the whole thread, but I honestly don't understand what makes Psycho so great. I mean, perhaps it's because I was raised on horror movies and with an interest about serial killers, but it doesn't do anything at all for me. I've always chalked this up to the fact that it was "before my time" but shit, it was before most people's time who really like the movie. For me the pacing in the opening of the film is stilted and too slow considering it's pretty much just a preface for the rest of the film. I don't know, I'd have to sit down with a film prof and go through the whole thing having the reasons for it's mastery pointed out. I keep giving it a chance every couple of years to do something for me but it never does.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Deal with Psycho is that it's a roller coaster of misdirection. The movie starts off and you (ostensibly) think it's going to be about one thing. And all the pacing and cues seem to confirm this cordial, reasonably familiar storyline. Then something completely unexpected happens, and the audience is left without an identification figure and without a clue where things could go from there. And from that point it keeps juggling. At the time, it broke just about every rule of cinematic narrative.

Most of this stuff is familiar Hitchcock; he just hadn't quite combined them in quite such a bold way before.

Then there's the stark photography, in black-and-white as a stylistic choice rather than a budgetary one. There's the minimal Hermann score. And there's Anthony Perkins.

At the time there just hadn't been a movie like it. With the whole business where people weren't let in after the movie had started, it quite literally changed how movies were made and seen.

I just got the Criterion versions of The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, a couple of weeks ago when DeepDiscount was having a two-for-one Criterion sale. This is the first time I've seen the former that its print wasn't completely falling to pieces and the characters didn't sound like they were talking through pillows. It's a little weird to see the two together, as both hinge to some degree on a melody as a plot point.

I've got Sabotage here, actually -- a really cruddy budget DVD. I haven't watched it in ages. It's a little odd how he did Sabotage then Saboteur.

I much prefer the original The Man Who Knew Too Much, if for nothing than the absence of Doris Day. Also, it's got Peter Lorre. Which makes anything instantly awesome.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to go with Notorious as my favorite non-big Hitchcock movie. The main reason for watching this movie are the extended periods of suspense and tension, especially in any scene involving Claude Rains.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
The Deal with Psycho is that it's a roller coaster of misdirection. The movie starts off and you (ostensibly) think it's going to be about one thing. And all the pacing and cues seem to confirm this cordial, reasonably familiar storyline. Then something completely unexpected happens, and the audience is left without an identification figure and without a clue where things could go from there. And from that point it keeps juggling. At the time, it broke just about every rule of cinematic narrative.

Well, this is exactly how the novel was written, which I happen to have read prior to ever seeing the film (I read a lot as a kid, OK?). So, the other points you make are still valid, but it's not like the misdirection was all on Al there.

Quote:
I've got Sabotage here, actually -- a really cruddy budget DVD. I haven't watched it in ages. It's a little odd how he did Sabotage then Sabo<i>teur</i>.

The red one Jamacian Inn, Lady Vanishes, and 39 Steps? That's the same one I have and the only reason I even happen to see it. I actually liked Sabotage more than LV or 39S, which were the reasons I bought the set.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's this huge black box with Hitchcock's mug on it, and eight or nine DVDs inside -- all early English stuff, sometimes more than one per disc. All really lousy prints. Maybe fifteen, twenty dollars for the whole thing at Sam's Club five or six years ago.

Looking at it now: Blackmail / Easy Virtue, The Farmer's Wife, Murder, The Skin Game, Number Seventeen (you gotta see this -- it's so odd) / The Ring, Rich and Strange, Secret Agent, Sabotage / The Lodger, Jamaica Inn.

Thinking about the black-and-white photography and the string score, I think the power to Psycho may be in how minimalistic it is. Everything is stripped down and focused on the narrative. And with the narrative being as tricky and (for the time) emotionally violent as it is, playing with the audience the way it does, it generates a sort of stark, claustrophobic intensity as it goes along. You're looking for warmth and texture, and... the best you really get is Norman Bates.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only Hitchcock I've seen is 39 Steps Sad It was on a 20 CLASSIC FILMS DVD, with a bunch of other horrible tranfers (the original Fast and the Furious, The Day of the Triffids...) that I bought for $5. I enjoyed it!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having recently watched the two earlier, failed versions of The Maltese Falcon (before Bogey), I've developed a bit of a bullshit sensor for self-satisfied faux-clever upper-class hero-twits. It seems like half the second rate male leads between the mid-thirties and mid-forties tried very hard to be William Powell and failed. So. Recently annoyed with this archetype, I was impressed with the general non-twittiness of the protagonist to The 39 Steps.

Actually! Here's a good subthread, following from a couple of comments above: particular neato supporting characters who make a lesser-known Hitchcock movie. I just rewatched Stage Fright. I'd forgotten I had seen it before, yet the character of the protagonist's father had stuck in my head for years. Once he turned up, I had a bit of a revelation. Kind of wish I had someone like that in my life, actually. He's such an awesome figure.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, does anyone else remember why Psycho almost wasn't allowed to be released?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shapermc wrote:
Well, this is exactly how the novel was written, which I happen to have read prior to ever seeing the film (I read a lot as a kid, OK?). So, the other points you make are still valid, but it's not like the misdirection was all on Al there.


but it's not the novel, is it? doing something in a novel and doing it in film are pretty different things, especially when one medium is much younger and still being charted out. we ought to know what that's like, i think.

in conclusion, everyone play psychosomnium.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dessgeega wrote:
but it's not the novel, is it? doing something in a novel and doing it in film are pretty different things, especially when one medium is much younger and still being charted out. we ought to know what that's like, i think.

in conclusion, everyone play psychosomnium.

It's not, but it is a filmificiation of a novel. K? Anyways, all I was pointing out was that the pacing issue and misdirection was not an original idea. Also, since then many other directors have done it better. So I still have to say that I don't understand why it's still considered a masterwork of film

Also, like, I can't pass the bee section in psychosomnium so I've never finished it.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

helicopterp wrote:
Hey, does anyone else remember why Psycho almost wasn't allowed to be released?

Which incident do you mean? The executives who insisted they saw nipples where there were none, so Hitchcock had to walk them through frame by frame?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shapermc wrote:
Also, since then many other directors have done it better. So I still have to say that I don't understand why it's still considered a masterwork of film.


This sounds a little bit to me like saying that since the Audi R8 is better than the Aston Martin DB4 in most measurable aspects, that there's no point to driving or loving the older car.

Also, I'd like examples of films that you think have better pacing/misdirection.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scratchmonkey wrote:
Also, I'd like examples of films that you think have better pacing/misdirection.

The first one that comes to mind is The Third Man which came out 11 years prior.

Anyways, I'm not trying to be a jerk about this, I'm just saying I don't really understand it. I mean the car analogy is correct, but then again how many more people do end up choosing the Audi R8? A hell of a lot more. (also, I'm an audi fan so that's a pretty decent analogy to me)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the Third Man is one of the films that I adore, so that's a good choice. I don't think that there's a lot of films out there that do what Psycho does any better and it still feels very unique to me, or at least it did the last time I watched it, which was about 9 years ago.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things that I pick up on more as I get older is how droll the dialogue is.

Norman: "You eat like a bird"

Marion: "You'd know, of course."

Norman: "No, not really. Anyway, I hear the expression 'eats like a bird' is really a fals- fals... falsity. Because birds really eat a tremendous lot. But I don't really know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things. You know, taxidermy. And I guess I'd rather stuff birds because I hate the look of beasts when they're stuffed. You know, foxes and chimps... Only birds look well stuffed because - well, they're passive to begin with."

Marion: It's a strange hobby. Curious.

Norman: Uncommon, too.

Marion: Oh, I imagine so!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scratchmonkey wrote:
Actually, the Third Man is one of the films that I adore, so that's a good choice. I don't think that there's a lot of films out there that do what Psycho does any better and it still feels very unique to me, or at least it did the last time I watched it, which was about 9 years ago.

One of my favorites also. The Third Man is rather less complex, though, as you don't have the shifting allegiance issue. Harry Lime is more of a wild card plot thing that shifts the movie into another gear. You're with Holly Martins the whole way through, and in a sense the basic quest remains the same. Lime is still the black bird, and he turns out to be just as much a false idol; it's just the nature of the hunt that changes. In place of archaeology we get a chase. In Psycho, the audience is left dangling a third of the way in, without any obvious character or resolution to root for -- which is far more challenging.

It's almost a chestnut in discussions of the movie, yet that moment with the sinking car, where it stops for a moment, and Norman stops chewing his candy, and starts to show the beginning stages of panic, and suddenly you want it to sink as much as he does -- that's pretty subversive, and pretty great.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, at least everybody likes The Third Man!

Also, I'm starting to realize that my attitude about Psycho probably comes completely from the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen around every corner, so none of the interesting things that the film does had any impact on me. Perhaps.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I figured out what my problem was:
Shapermc wrote:
my attitude about Psycho probably comes completely from the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen around every corner

This was exactly the case. I watched Psycho again last night and did my best to view the film as though I had no idea what was going on (or rather I studied it from the perspective of someone who'd never seen it).

For the first time ever I realized that the film is not intended to be "brilliant" from the perspective of knowing norman's secret. The brilliance is in his character alone. Even though the secret is given away well before the big reveal, the film goes out of it's way to hide this from the viewer.

Ummm, so yeah, I don't know what the period of time on needing to warn about spoilers is, but Psycho plot spoilers ahoy!

Anyways, I want to start out by disagreeing about the misdirection claims (mostly). The only time that I agree with the misdirection is about norman's secret. I think the rest is just really good setup for transference of guilt. I'm making this claim by the simple fact that if it was purely misdirection for the first half of the film until norman takes over; what events could possibly have been removed before we meet norman which would still have created the situation which happens after we meet norman? Nothing, not the smallest bit. Everything feeds into norman taking the load and role of guilt bearer.

On every previous viewing I never saw norman and his mother as two seperate characters, and this was the key to understanding what I was missing in the film. See, if you look at norman from the very first time you see him as a murderer then, well, you don't see someone worth emphasizing with. The entire second half of the movie from the point that the car sinks into the swamp until the psychologist explains everything is 50 minutes of filler if you look at norman that way from the start. When viewing him as the helpless person who's taken over the guilt and paranoia of Marion he becomes a completely different character.

At the end, both main characters (as there's no other way to lable Marion Crane other than a main character) have delt with their demons. When we last see marion she's calm, peaceful, and even though she knows she's in a pile of shit she's willing to make it right. Norman goes in the complete opposite direction, he convinces himself that "he" isn't responsible anymore for the murders because his "mother" has stepped in to save him. His mother is the real Psycho, not norman as I've thought up until last night.

One other point I would like to make: the peeping tom scene is quite interesting considering that it's probably the most crude scene in the film, yet as far as Marion being "undressed" she's viewed in her most clothed stages of undress: full slip over bra/panties into a bathrobe. Previously we'd seen her in just her bra and underwear, and after the scene we watch her revel in her clean nakedness. Yet we never feel uncomfortable or sexual when watching her on our own, but when it's pointed out through norman it feels dirty and wrong when in fact she's more decent during that scene than many others. Hell, the film opens with perhaps the dirtiest scene (if you would go that far).

Slight Tangent: Before I watched Psyco the last time (not this time) I pulled out my Great Movies book and read eberts entry on psycho. This time I did it afterwords which is what I started doing with many of his essays (read them way in advance, put together a list of films, after I watch one read the essay again). I agree with many of his points now, but one thing struck me:
Roger Ebert wrote:
Seeing the shower scene today, several things stand out. Unlike modern horror films, "Psycho" never shows the knife striking flesh. There are no wounds. There is blood, but not gallons of it. Hitchcock shot in black and white because he felt the audience could not stand so much blood in color. The slashing chords of Bernard Herrmann's soundtrack substitute for more grisly sound effects. The closing shots are not graphic but symbolic, as blood and water spin down the drain, and the camera cuts to a closeup, the same size, of Marion's unmoving eyeball. This remains the most effective slashing in movie history, suggesting that situation and artistry are more important than graphic details.

This is partially untrue. There is one scene where the knife is sloppily placed over the belly to show the viewer explicitly what's going on. The knife does indeed touch flesh in this scene, and I would debate that they attempted to add blood. I have gone frame for frame with this just to get the knife the instant after it touches skin (this is also something I noticed at normal speed, so I'm not just being a freak here):


(interesting thing I also noticed while grabbing this shot: there are two shower heads in use from the scene where norman's mother opens the door until marion is dead.)

Ok, so anyways, I'm just making a point here. You can obviously see the knife obviously striking flesh. Add to this that the above shot is an awkward stab that is being made, on top of many many awkward stabs that are made in this shot. It doesn't have anything to do with artistry because they aren't stabbing motions that look natural. The whole scene feels a bit delicate to me: they were both nervous about it looking good, and not hurting janet, while at the same time trying to not be gory.

The scene is restrained, and after all these years it's hardly the most effective slashing. With that said, the most effective slashing are usually in B movies. This does lead me into the HONEST TO GOD most effective cut and aggressive action with a pointy object.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the "hook scene" you have Pam getting dragged into the room after being caught by Leatherface. She's screaming while he seems to effortlessly maneuver her closer to the hook which is established from the entry shot in the room. He the lifts and hoists her onto the hook where just before the hook enters her back the film cuts quickly to her shock of terror as she's now hanging from a hook and staring at her dead boyfriend on a table.

Let's take a look (sorry about the quality, this is a first print DVD). The first shot is about 1.5 seconds before the second shot. It is the establishing shot for the room scene. From the second to third shot there's less than a dozen frames of time, but I promise, the hook never even touches flesh.





Not only is this the most famous scene of the film (much like the shower scene in Psycho), but it's also the scene that was too violent for most people. I have actually gotten into arguments with people who swear up and down that the hook enters her back, and once I won $10 bucks on a bet. The thing is, this is perhaps the cleanest and least violent thing that happens in the film. Most other violent scenes in the film are far more violent and gory, yet it's still cited as the most brutal event, and it is even depicted on most covers and posters of the film.

Anyways, it just goes to prove that your mind is the most active thing in film. It's powerful enough to fill in the gaps. Now I also feel that the sound effects/music in TCM is much more unnerving than Psycho. The audio alone is the reason that TCM still gives me the creeps every time I watch it.

I believe that both of these elements were things that TCM successfully stole borrowed from Psycho without needing to ape the film. As a result TCM is probably my favorite horror film, and a great movie.

So after a long visual tangent: Psycho has far from the best slashing in a film, though it is probably the best "slasher film".

Oh, and I really like Psycho now after over a dozen years of thinking it was just sort of blah.

EDIT: Reading over this I realize I lose my train of thought a few times and my comments are a bit of a mess. If you want me to explain what the hell I'm talking about call me out on it and I'd be more than happy to extrapolate further.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to kill a man between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
helicopterp wrote:
Hey, does anyone else remember why Psycho almost wasn't allowed to be released?

Which incident do you mean? The executives who insisted they saw nipples where there were none, so Hitchcock had to walk them through frame by frame?



It was the use of the word "transvestite" at the end that nearly had to be cut. It always strikes me as funny what people get tight-assed about.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, there's some good stuff here. Don't completely have the energy to respond right now.

I will say this, about the dangling allegiance business: after a certain point, Marion's boyfriend and sister come into the picture -- and that rather complicates things. Who do you root for? No one is perfect. You don't like Arbogast. You kind of are sympathetic toward the sister and boyfriend, except you don't like how they behave toward Norman. You're kind of on Norman's side, except as far as he's hindering the other two. I guess the viewer kind of wants them all to work together.

Psycho II -- which isn't all that bad, for as unnecessary as it is -- actually kind of follows up on this chemistry, to its most extreme logical conclusion.

And oh, yes, "transvestite"! That's kind of hilarious.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I killed this thread didn't I?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the most amazing slashing in tgq history
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