Friday, July 19, 2019

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho :: Film Movies

An Analysis of the Opening Sequence from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho Just like a building, a film needs a strong foundation in order to be successful, a foundation which is made up of the starting moments of the film. In Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock successfully uses the opening credit sequence to establish a foundation on which to build an interesting plot, including techniques to elicit involvement by the spectator, and the suggestion of a "Psycho" theme. A musical composition consisting of quick strokes on tightly wound violins, later used in the famous shower scene, starts to play at the beginning of the sequence. Names begin to slide on and off the screen in a series of horizontal and vertical lines. The top and bottom portions of the names slide onto the screen, followed by the middle portion. The last name to appear is that of Alfred Hitchcock, which settles in the middle of the screen and begins to twitch and flutter in an unusual manner. The credits then dissolve into a long shot of an auspicious section of an unknown city where a building is being constructed (paralleling the idea of Hitchcock shaping a foundation). As this dissolve takes place, a more subtle and mellow music (again composed of string instruments) fills the air, suggesting a stable environment. The sun burns brightly in the sky and a desert landscape is seen in the background through a haze. The shot immediately begins to pan slowly to the right, revealing more city rooftops and streets. As a dissolve zooms us slightly closer to the city and the camera continues to pan, small block letters appear on both sides of the screen and converge in the middle to read "PHOENIX, ARIZONA." Hitchcock immediately brings the reoccurring theme of birds into the film by setting the scenery in "Phoenix." The camera continues to pan to the right, now moving on to a more dreary side of the city. The next set of titles converges in the center of the screen, reading "FRIDAY, DECEMBER ELEVENTH." As the panning continues, a slow zoom begins to bring us closer to one of the buildings. The last title appears in the same fashion as the preceding, "TWO FORTY-THREE P.M." Yet another dissolve stops the camera on a rather unattractive wall, slowly zooming in on a window with Venetian blinds drawn down. A cut to a closer view of the window reveals an opening a few inches below the blind in which the camera continues to zoom in on, bringing us into a dark apartment room.

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