Film Crane, who has worked for ten years as

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 George
Lowery, she realizes that her boyfriend, Sam Loomis, can’t get married due to
money issues, he a penniless hardware store clerk who has a huge amount of debt
on his name is a result of having to pay alimony. Marion sees an opportunity
when one of her employer’s wealthy 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, Marion believes she can escape from her town
immediately undetected with the money to join her boyfriend in Fairvale,
California where he lives, before her employer would even suspect 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 Fairvale 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 invalid mother in the big, old house on
the hill overlooking the motel. Although she doesn’t meet Mrs. Bates, Marion
knows that she is an angry, controlling woman based on an argument she
overhears between her and Norman. Norman admits that his mother is mentally
mad. That evening, Marion has a change of heart and contemplates returning to
Phoenix to return 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.