Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

One of my favourite moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is not a typical choice considering the film’s many infamous scenes. Rather than showers, murders and other more memorable images, I particularly love a relatively bland scene later on in the film. It has narrative development in its eerie punch line but has little else … Continue reading Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

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Fugitive Refuge In The Landscape – (A Cottage On Dartmoor, The 39 Steps, Hunted, Rogue Male).

Within the British tradition of the "Chase and Pursuit" drama, there are several reoccurring themes.  The idea of a lone individual being chased through different topographies by a group seems to have been popularised in Britain by the Second World War but was around far before then.  The basic impetuous seems to be that an … Continue reading Fugitive Refuge In The Landscape – (A Cottage On Dartmoor, The 39 Steps, Hunted, Rogue Male).

Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

This article contains narrative spoilers. From its very earliest occurrences, electronic instrumentation and music has been used in cinema to signpost various aspects of mental health problems and issues within diegetic characters.  Alongside its uses in creating alien worlds, electronic instrumentation seems to, at least in the eyes of the films' creators, have an ability … Continue reading Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

Sounds of The Birds (1963) – Alfred Hitchcock.

Few directors have had their relationship with music analysed as much as Alfred Hitchcock.  His natural ability to select the right composer to almost brand his films aurally has often meant that the musical scores have become synonymous with his filmmaking style even though they have been created by several different composers over the years.  … Continue reading Sounds of The Birds (1963) – Alfred Hitchcock.

Sounds of the City – Defining the Metropolis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954).

In spite of being set in the most cramped of city-based fictional areas, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) successfully presents the bustling aesthetics of a whole metropolis while managing to retain an almost claustrophobic isolation.  In the film, Hitchcock presents a temporarily wheelchair-bound photographer who becomes obsessed with a neighbour. He suspects the unusual man … Continue reading Sounds of the City – Defining the Metropolis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954).

Films On The Strange British Coastline.

While many British films take full advantage of the rural potential that "this spectered isle" can provide, there seems to be another sub-sect to this branch film, often finding its way into British horror cinema.  Of course, this isn't as clear cut as simply analysing films under the guise of "Rural Horror" or "Folk Horror" … Continue reading Films On The Strange British Coastline.

Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 4 (Conclusions)

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.  Combining the Readings: Similarities, Contradictions and Cross-Over. "It's as if the film were pinpointing the very essence of the unfilmable: the entwined couple, monstrous, the two-backed beast of the primal scene, the impossible couple of body and voice." - Michel Chion (1999, p.149). While Murphy and Fenimore examine and … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 4 (Conclusions)

Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 3 (Acousmatic Concepts)

Part 1. Part 2. Emphasis on Acousmatic Concepts in Ross J. Fenimore's "Voices that Lie Within". "Psycho almost didn't happen.  This is a unique case of music literally saving a film." - Sullivan (2006, p.246). Like much literature around Psycho, Fenimore's "Voices That Lie Within" begins its argument with setting the scene. "Psycho begins with … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 3 (Acousmatic Concepts)

Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 2 (An Audiovisual Foreshadowing)

Part 1. Emphasis on Visual Cues in Scott Murphy's "An Audiovisual Foreshadowing in Psycho". "We can grasp in effect something which, already in nature, appropriates the gaze to the function to which it may be put in the symbolic relation in man." - Jacques Lacan (1977, p.105). Scott Murphy's "An Audiovisual Foreshadowing in Psycho" is … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 2 (An Audiovisual Foreshadowing)