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 on screen in terms of Hitchcock generally: it is perfunctory … Continue reading Horror’s Pleasure of Distance
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 individual is wanted for some crime or misdemeanour (sometimes falsely) … Continue reading Fugitive Refuge In The Landscape – (A Cottage On Dartmoor, The 39 Steps, Hunted, Rogue Male).
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 to go deep within the human psyche as well as … Continue reading Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.
One of the key criticisms of the Folk Horror Chain is its emphasis, both in argument and in evidence, upon the rural landscape and its various elements. While the key works of Folk Horror cinema seem to broadly use rural landscape aesthetics and practice to set and conjure their horror, by setting up such a parameter, it does indeed neglect some of the sub-genre’s most … Continue reading The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.
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. With this context then, Hitchcock’s 1963 film, The Birds, seems … Continue reading Sounds of The Birds (1963) – Alfred Hitchcock.
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 to have murdered his wife. Rear Window presents a number … Continue reading Sounds of the City – Defining the Metropolis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954).
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” but there is a small batch of British horror films … Continue reading Films On The Strange British Coastline.
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 address different points and issues, their resulting essays not only … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 4 (Conclusions)
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 a theft.”(2010, p.80) he begins as so many often do. … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 3 (Acousmatic Concepts)
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 already an interesting proposition in the context of its original … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 2 (An Audiovisual Foreshadowing)