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How Does Hitchcock Use Cinematography To Manipulate The Emotions Of His Audience?

3202 words - 13 pages

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, born August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, England, was a film technician who deftly blended sex, suspense and humour, and who justly became known as "The Master of Suspense". His brilliance in film-making was envied as well as loved and his influence continues to be felt over many a filmmaker. He used intelligent plots and captivating and memorable scenes to enable his movies, still, to surprise and enchant silver screen lovers worldwide; and in doing so, inspired a new generation of film-making - revolutionising the thriller genre.Hitchcock's most famous films include 'Vertigo' (1959), 'The Birds' and 'Psycho' (1960). 'Psycho', first screened in New York on the 16th June ...view middle of the document...

With films and shows such as 'The Swiss Family Robinson', 'My Fair Lady' and 'Mary Poppins' present in the period of the 'Psycho' release, it is clear that 'Psycho' is very disparate to the expected content of cinema showings at the time. In fact, 'Psycho' broke all but one of the film regulations of the American 1960's Film Censorship, which all screen plays had to gain approval of. According to the code, the following provisions applied:1.The sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong doing or evil - (this was broken once Marion became the criminal - stealing money - but still was shown to appear naïve and guiltless, and still the audience is pressed into identifying with her.)2.Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embracing, suggestive gestures and postures were unacceptable - (this was broken in the very first scene when Sam and Marion execute a seedy lunchtime affair)3.Explicit nudity was unacceptable - (this was also broken in the first scene and also during the celebrated shower scene)4.Swearing such as 'Damn', 'God' and 'Hell' was unacceptable - (this was the only regulation not to be defied.)5.Brutality and gruesomeness has to be treated with the careful limits of good taste - (this was broken on the occasions when a toilet was flushed for the first time ever on screen, the two murders and when 'Mother's' corpse is revealed.)Several individuals went as far as to claim that Psycho ruptured many cherished American ethics, chiefly 'motherly love' when matricide was introduced to the 'increasingly scandalous' plot. This created outrage within the 1960's American public when something as sanctified as the devotion existing between mother and child was tainted with the permanent stain of these inimitable, never-before witnessed and unpardonable (for the era) scenes. It was also blamed for causing murders with its apparent horrifically brutal scenes being an influence to the unhinged serial killers of the time; therefore motivating an ongoing debate, still in impassioned question in the present day, about the relationship connecting the screen and street bloodshed.Today, countless film spectators sit undeterred and impervious through the atrocious and daunting scenes of the re-released and restructured 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003) and such nerve-jangling and ethereal scenes of 'The Blair Witch Project' (2000); making the once 'scandalous' and 'terrifying beyond reason' shots from 'Psycho' more like a scene from the latest 'Winnie the Pooh' release. In all fairness, perhaps comparing the complete timid-ness of 'Psycho's' scenes to 'Winnie' is exaggerating a little, but I have to say, when shown to my English class of twenty or so 14 and 15 year olds, the chilling resonance of the human scream did not bounce off the walls, but the happy sound of cackling teenagers seemed to air at various stages of viewing. Yes, today's audiences can swallow huge amounts of gore and ghastliness before even a flinch is...

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