Saturday, May 10, 2014

Scene Analysis

                When it comes to very well-known scenes in Hollywood, this shower scene from Psycho is probably on the “top ten list”. I am a huge fan of Hitchcock which is why I chose this particular clip to analyze. When the shot begins it appears to be like an ordinary shower, there is no music playing, all that is heard are diegetic sounds, sounds that have a visible source on screen, such as the door closing or the woman turning on the water in the shower. Although these are diegetic sounds in the movie, they are most likely sound effects that are put into the scene because it would be extremely hard to capture such crisp and clear sounds of these sound sources. The only time that there is music placed in the scene is when the killer starts to attack the woman in the shower. This is done to intensify and symbolize the actions that are being done. The music that is being played at the time will always be associated with this Hitchcock scene. But what it also does is it sets the mood, the music has a sense of surprise as well as a sense of panic, which is what the woman in the shower is feeling. The music along with the acting portrays that feeling very well.  The entire scene is composed of medium close ups and close ups, to give the audience a feeling of suspense. The only time that action is taking place in the background of a shot is when the camera is breaking the 180 rule by being on the other side of the shower, facing the shower curtain. Being on the other side of the shower allows for the audience to see that the bathroom door is opening but since the curtain gives a distorted look it is hard to tell who is walking in through that door until they open the curtain. But when the killer is revealed, the way that the lighting is set up, it puts a dark shadow over their face to allow the suspense of the movie to continue. The audience believes that they know who the killer is but in reality they do not. There is never a shot of the actual knife going into the woman’s body, but the jump cuts between the killer moving the knife, the close ups of different parts of the woman’s body and the scenes of the blood running down the drain with the water allow the audience to come to the conclusion that she is being brutally murdered, although it is not shown. I’m not sure if Hitchcock did this on purpose, but I believe that the Hayes Code must have been his reason for this. With all of the Hayes Code restriction’s he was pushing the boundaries, if that was the case than it worked really well for him because it also adds suspense to the shot. Every aspect of this scene makes the suspense grow and grow. Especially the last few moments, when the woman reaches for the shower curtain as if she will be able to make it out, but then falls over onto the floor. The next shot is an extreme close up of the blood and water going down the drain then changes into an extreme close up of her eye, which signifies that she is dead.

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