Which is why the birds are shown. Norman and Marion have a very serious conversation and you begin to see that maybe they trust each other. However when Marion decides to depart and go to bed, Norman begins to kick up a fuss. He complains a little but lets her go. When Marion goes into her bedroom she changes but whilst she does this Norman is in the next room spying on her through a hole. This shows that maybe he is attracted to her but at the same time it shows that maybe something isn’t quite right with Norman and that he is slightly strange.
Another one of the main scenes is the famous shower scene. This scene is after the parlour scene. We see Marion in the shower but Hitchcock is very careful and doesn’t show any of Marion’s flesh from her upper thigh to her shoulders. Whilst Marion is in the shower we see a shadow emerge from behind the curtain. The shadow becomes clearer and we see a clearer picture of a knife. The shower curtain flies open and we see a dark figure stab Marion viciously with a knife. We never see the knife make contact with her skin. Unlike thrillers and horrors of today, where we see every limb torn apart and every stab wound spilling out blood.
Hitchcock just showed us clips of the moving knife and parts of Marion’s skin. Chocolate was used for her blood as the film was black and white and for the sound of the stabbing, knifes were stabbed into melons. To make this scene more horrific and shocking Hitchcock used his stringed orchestra. The shower made a rhythmic and diagetic sound that contrasted with the high-pitched non-diagetic sounds of violins. The stabbing was in time with the music making it more shocking as the scene played on. The music created both suspense and horror. Many different angles were used with cameras in this scene. There were around thirteen different camera angles.
They were short and changed quickly, this made it seem faster and more energetic. This enhanced the frenzied attack that was happening to Marion. Hitchcock used one of his recurring motifs in this scene. We see the bottomless depth technique used. When Marion is dead, she grabs the shower curtain and falls over the bath. We see her blood flow down into the plughole, where the camera focuses and stays there and the slowly changes into Marion’s eye that is still and not blinking. Her eye slowly fades and then goes onto the next scene. The last bit of the scene creates a very chilling and horrifying atmosphere.
I have learned a lot about the film Psycho, I have been able to see the techniques he used and study them with further depth. I can see how he used the red herring and how he was easily able to manipulate the audience. In my opinion he was one of the greatest directors yet and Psycho was one of the best thrillers I have seen. He made every scene have a special technique and feature. From the start of the film he was able to mislead the audience, the opening shot was of Marion having an affair. We automatically think that this could be the heart and soul of the film when really it is only the start and soon that story line disappears.
He would make the audience jump and hold their breath in suspense at parts of the film, that weren’t that important. For example when Marion is in the car, the traffic cop, who only wants to warn her about the weather conditions, stops her. At the time though it puts us in suspense not knowing what he want with Marion. Alfred Hitchcock was able to put many different techniques into practise and also pull them off very successfully. He was able to get a horrifying thriller past the very strict censorship.
In 1960 when the film was made the censorship was very strict and every film had to pass to get onto the cinema screens. Morality was a lot tighter and sex and violence was strictly forbidden. Hitchcock had a plan to get his film through the censor and of course it worked. To get his film past the censors he would put the most obscene shots into his film that were almost certain to be banned, in doing this it made his most outrageous scenes look like nothing and they would pass the censors with flying colours (another red herring).
At first Hitchcock had made a reference that Norman and his mother had a sexual relationship. Of course that was banned straight away. The shower scene was the scene that caused the most concern, but you never saw the knife touch the skin and you would never see any part of Marion’s body from her neck to her thigh. As we know the censors wouldn’t allow any contact of the knife on the body to be shown.
There for a film produced like Scream made in 1996 wouldn’t have stood a chance in 1960, they would just simply laugh at it. The censors had asked Hitchcock to edit that scene but he managed to trick them by saying that he had, when he hadn’t made any changes at all. Hitchcock loved his shower scene so much that he was willing to get rid of the sexual scenes at the beginning of the film just to keep that scene.
But he ended up with both. All of these techniques mentioned show just what an imaginative and creative director Hitchcock actually was. His film may have only taken three weeks to film and cost less than one million pounds but he still managed to get it through the censors and make it one of the best thrillers of its kind and one of the best known films of today. There have been many directors that have copied his techniques that he originally used. He is one of the most imitated film directors of all time. And as they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.