"It became what we thought we saw, not what we saw." Janet Leigh.
I have always been fascinated with Hitchcock's shower scene in Psycho. I remember the first time I digitized it years ago and went through frame by frame to deconstruct how exactly it was put together.
Psycho was edited by the great George Tomasini, a longtime collaborator of Alfred Hitchcock's. Out of all of Hitchcock's films, this scene is the most scrutinized due to it's nature of a young woman being viciously stabbed to death while in a very vulnerable position. In the year 1960, this was truly a groundbreaking moment in film. Without showing any nudity or actual stabs of the knife, Hitchcock crafted one of the most terrifying scenes in film history.
At the time, Hitchcock had many restrictions placed upon when creating this film. This is a perfect example of restriction breeding creativity. Within the limits of those restrictions came this masterpiece in cinematography, sound and editing. Like Speilberg's Jaws, most of the terror is left up to the viewer's imagination. Where as Speilberg's limits came out of a mechanical failure, Hitchcock's limits were placed upon him by the studios and the MPAA.
If you haven't seen the original Psycho, I hope this inspires you to do so. If you have seen it, I hope you enjoy this homage. At least you can watch the shower scene in slow motion just like I did years ago.
Music used in order:
Intro by Alt-J (2012)
Intro by The XX (2009)
Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads (1977)
Thanks for watching!
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