Listen now | Todays’s movie is Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho. At this point, it seems like we’re settling into a fairly routine dynamic: Anna likes a movie, and Casey doesn’t. It’s definitely hard to follow a movie like The Shining, but the lack of subtlety in
I don't know if I should put that here or in 1917 comments, there's a conversation with Thomas Newman that just has been posted on youtube and he goes through harmonic analysis and his thought process for the composition. They talk about the piece at the midpoint of the film with the flat-sixth.
Tarantino does not like Hitchcock either, I don't know his opinion on Psycho but he thinks Vertigo is massively overrated. I'm not a historian so I don't know the details but the reputation of Hitchcock is based in part on outlandish interpretations from french critics during the 50s and 60s. I know for The Birds, Godard made a comparison with aerial bombardment during the 2nd World War. He also compared it with italian neorealist movies from the 40s and 50s because the way the behavior of the birds is not explained is similar to the way these movies were more open-ended and ambiguous. Godard was still harping on Psycho imagery in his last films but honestly I'm not sure what he was going for. He filmed rain in car windows, his sink with grapefruits and oranges...: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-u0kQafV6SYg/VA1T04A-NyI/AAAAAAAAARc/b-GF4yfLqtM/s1600/JLGAAL1.jpg https://ecmreviews.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/lib-5.png?w=1024
On Psycho itself, I watched both the color version by Gus Van Sant and the original. I thought the lighting was too bright in the color version so I guess I prefer the muted cinematography of the original. What stood out though is the music and the editing, the original version is much better on both accounts. Even if the music is the same, the recording is more contrasted in Hitchcock's version and the synchronism with the image is better. It's a good exercise to compare both, the overall feel is much better in the original.
Also I noticed the scene where Marion is driving looks a lot like the Jupiter sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey. He intercuts the view of the road through the car window with changes of expressions in the character's face. It's interesting on a visual level but I don't really get the point of the scene though. Here are the links for the moments I'm talking about.
I'm not sure I fully get the hype surrounding Hitchcock either. I can see that some imagery and staging is very good but I would have to read more to see what people think is genius in his movies.
In general I agree with Casey on Hitchcock. I don’t think his movies have stayed fresh with age, and they often feel like unfocused, overlong tv episodes (I watched Rear Window earlier this year and found it interminable). I remembered this movie as falling into the same boat, and didn’t look forward to rewatching it, but I actually liked it a lot! After the rewatch, it’s by far my favorite Hitchcock film.
I thought the Marion Crane storyline was compelling. The stuff with the cop helps emphasize how far she’s in over her head; she can’t bluff her way out of trouble and is totally flailing trying to figure out her strategy. I totally bought her getting second thoughts, realizing she’s not cut out for this, and feeling like she should return the money. Her abrupt murder was still shocking and impactful even after half a century of parodies. Her sister and the detective aren’t nearly as interesting, but I still kind of liked the switch in focus. It made the movie feel a bit episodic, which I thought was a good fit for Hitchcock’s style.
I absolutely loved Norman Bates. Anthony Perkins does such a great job capturing his awkward charm and underlying darkness, and his final monologue where his “mother” takes over is so incredibly creepy that I don’t mind the lack of subtlety at all.
I agree that the psychologist’s exposition is the worst part of the movie by a mile, and I didn’t get anything out of the final scene with the car. I also agree that the movie could have been a bit tighter. But on the whole this worked for me much better than any other Hitchcock film, and I’m glad this episode gave me a reason to try it again.