February 21, 2020

PYSCHO for Alfred Hitchcock

posted on: Wednesday March 7, 2012

Marisa Urgo ’14/A&E Staff

All of us know the infamous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, in which Janet Leigh is stabbed to the suspenseful music we all associate with horror movies now. We are also all familiar with James Bond, but not many of us know that he wouldn’t be where he is today without Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Hitchcock’s angle and camera technique of mimicking a person’s gaze is still frequented in films today. Hitchcock has embedded himself into our culture in ways that we don’t realize through his cinematic techniques that we have accepted as merely a part of our traditional movie-going experience. A new movie, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, focuses on Hitchcock as a director and the making of one of his most infamous films.

What is important is that the movie is not a remake of the original movie, which terrified audiences in 1960. It is based on Stephen Rebello’s non-fiction book of the same title that chronicles Alfred Hitchcock at the prime of his directing career. Rebello takes a scholarly look at the techniques Hitchcock used to capture audiences, which helps to explain precisely why he is such a household name even today. He also talks about Hitchcock as a person, and how he began making movies under tough circumstances.

Interestingly, no studio initially wanted to be a part of Hitchcock’s Psycho, fearing the movie would flop. However, Hitchcock, with his brilliant eye for movies, scrambled up the finances himself. He had the movie shot by the same television crew that did his show The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, so the movie was filmed inexpensively. The movie went on to become one of his most influential pieces of all time. The new movie features Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, who will indeed play out the creepy shower scene that haunts each of us before we pull back the curtain. Johansson not only physically resembles Leigh, but also has the talent to portray such a serious actress and piece of film. Anthony Hopkins will play Hitchcock himself, Helen Mirren will play his wife, Alma Reville, and James D’Arcy will play Psycho‘s lead, Anthony Perkins. This stellar cast promises a movie that is going to be well worth watching. Hitchcock is important as a filmmaker because not only did he make fantastic movies, but he also brought something new to the cinematic world that we should still be able to appreciate today. I’m looking forward to the film that will celebrate one of our most talented artists and filmmakers.

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