Sunday, 4 April 2010
'I don't set a fancy table, but the kitchen's awful homey. '
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock
(Universal Pictures, 1961)
Psycho...The shower scene..Bernie Hermann's striking score define Hitchcock's film. Yet it is the attention to detail that is most impressive. The film opens with a subtitle, we see the time, two-forty-three, Janet Leigh on her lunch break from work is having an affair. She's spent her whole lunch hour with John Garvin, she only has time to have affairs on her lunch break? Hitchcock is immediately forcing the audience to ask questions about the character. That is what film making is about, film makers need and should want their audience to ask questions about their characters. More random wonderful details.....The number 1 room at Norman Bates' motel, where Janet Leigh stays, the number 1 is in a shape of a dagger. The horizontal block that is the motel, and the vertical Gothic house, where 'mother' lives. The police officer who bears an uncanny resemblance to the T-1000. The stuffed animals in Bates' office, and the pictures of animals in Leigh's room – death surrounds the place. The wonderful staircase in the house, gives some great frames. The camera movement to the door, when Perkins carries 'mother' down the staircase. Perkins boyish smile and lovely eyes. Perkins eerie insistence on offering Leigh dinner. Never trust a man offering a woman food – why should he care about what she eats? The last shot with Perkins sitting against a wall – beautiful. The black and white looks phenomenal, great tonal range (wink wink, I must look at what stock used, tut-tut-snort-snort). See the BFI's print – now!