Film Studies – Assignment 1 Mujeeb Ahmad 16U00455 The

Film Studies
– Assignment 1

Mujeeb Ahmad

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The 1960’s classic by
Alfred Hitchcock, “Psycho” is a movie set in America and the story
revolves around a young woman “Marion Crane”. Phoenix-based Marion
Crane, who has worked for ten years as an assistant to real estate agent Lowery,
she realizes that her boyfriend, Sam Loomis, can’t get married due to money
issues, as he is a hardware store salesman who has a huge amount of debt on his
name as a result of having to pay provision to her divorced wife. Marion sees
an opportunity when one of her employer’s rich clients pays his account with $40,000
cash, Marion who has to take the money to the bank plans something else. Being
a Friday and the last day of work, she believes she can escape from her town immediately
without someone noticing with the money to join her boyfriend in California where
he lives, before her employer would even think that she has went away with the
money the earliest by Monday. Despite a number of close calls, Marion is able
to make it to twenty miles short of California at the Bates Motel where she
stops on a rainy Saturday night. The motel became isolated ever since the state
highway was moved. The motel is run by Norman Bates who is extremely friendly
and lives with his mother in the big, old house on the hill behind the motel.
Although she doesn’t meet Norman’s mother, Marion after hearing her arguments
with her son knows that she is angry and controlling woman. Norman admits that
his mother is mentally ill. That night, Ms.Crane has a change of heart and
plans to  return to Phoenix to give back
the money. But she never makes it either to Phoenix or Fairvale. As such,
several people come looking for her, including Sam – who is suspected of being
in cahoots with Marion in stealing the money – Marion’s worried sister Lila
Crane who is able to convince Lowery not to press charges if Marion returns the
money, and a private investigator named Arbogast who was hired by Lowery. At
various times, they all make their way to the mysterious Bates Motel, where
Mrs. Bates will do whatever required to maintain control of what happens at the
motel and within her family.



Filmmaker Alfred
Hitchcock was nicknamed the “Master of Suspense” for employing a kind
of psychological suspense in his films, producing a distinct viewer experience.
Throughout his career, Hitchcock continued to believe in cinema as a visual
medium. For him, dialogue and sound should remain secondary to the image in
telling the story. Hitchcock said that silent pictures were the purest form of
cinema. Hitchcock outlined three fundamental approaches to using images in
film. “Montage,” according to Hitchcock’s definition, “means the
assembly of pieces of film which moved in rapid suggestion before the eye
creates an idea”

From the start of the
movie the music playing in the background is very intense and creates a sense
of curiosity which tags along the main theme of the movie very well. Courtesy
the music  the viewer engages with the tone of the movie very well from
the first second. The guidance of the attention of the spectator to different
elements of the developing action in succession is, in general, characteristic
of the film which in regards of this movie can be seen clearly that whenever an
important part of the movie is upcoming the music starts to get loud and the
beats get low.



Montage editing is
used to join a sequence of cuts into one fluent edit making the scene frames
move fast or slow. In Psycho, this technique is used to make the killing scene
more realistic and to hide the fact that the antagonist doesn’t actually touch
her with the knife. This edit is quite old and so doesn’t show the realism of
modern films but at the time created a sense of panic and energy throughout the
audience. In the movie “Psycho” the technique Montage has been used
very cleverly to create anxiety and fear for the audience. The scene in which
Ms.Crane was stabbed by the knife multiple times in the shower, its build up
created a sense of fear as the attacker was shown approaching from the back and
behind the shower curtains it created fear of the unknown in the eyes of the audience
as it was sudden and no one expected it to end like this. While Ms.Crane was
getting stabbed her body was shown very cleverly and her movements were
captured and put together impeccably with the right contrast of showing the
shower and the blood drops dripping into the water, Overall the whole scenario
was captured and shown to the audience that as she fell on the bathroom floor
the shower curtain broke and fell on her and her still eye balls were then cut
into the scene through the water draining down into the pipe which had a feel
of continuity and smoothness in the scene.  As her blood is washed away
down the drain the camera slowly zooms onto the drain. This is an example of
slow editing. They then use a technique called a match cut and turn the drain
whole into the iris of the dead woman’s left eye. This leaves the audience in
shock, and giving the effect that the woman’s life has been washed away by a
mystery murderer.



Other than the scene
in the shower there were many moments in the movie where the audience had a
sense of fear and anxiety. The scene where the private investigator is climbing
up the stairs the camera angle is used very well and the way he was taking his
steps up the stairs it created anxiety and a sense that something was going to
happen and as the scene continued and he got attacked, the whole cut was from
above which made the knife look bigger and created fear for the audience just
before the moment as he was stabbed and the attacker was approaching him from
the room. The whole scene was executed impeccably as the attack was shown from
an angle from where it looked like the knife was going through the
investigators body.