Analysis Project # 2: Formal Analysis

Analysis # 2

2nd Question : The Materiality of Film

Movie : Psycho


Director : Alfred Hitchcock

Scene : Shower scene



     In this write, I will explain about a scene from “Psycho” by Alfred
Hitchcock. I suppose that the most interesting scene in this film is a shower
scene because of the techniques which the Hitchcock used. In this 1 scene, there
were lots of interesting and skillful techniques such as the point of view
(P.O.V), close up (CU), background music, and cutting.

     The first technique is changing of the point of view. First, during the
Marion was washing, the point of view was third point of view. After that the
shower head was shown by Marian’s point of view, which is second point of view. When the murderer pushed away the curtain, the point of view was the third point of view. During the murder, it kept changed from, murderer’s point of view, which is second point of view, and viewers’ point of view, which is third point of view. After the murder, the point of view was third point of view. As these, Hitchcock used lots of changing of point of views in this scene for more thrill.

    The second technique is the close up. In this film Hitchcock closed up to unexpected things. For examples, he first closed up to Marian’s lip when the murder happened. During the murder, he closed up to Marian’s stomach, hands, face, neck, murderer’s knife and the wall. After that, he closed up to Marian’s hand which was grabbing the curtain with an out of focus. And finally, he closed up to the eye of Marian’s when she fell down. This shot made the mood really scary in this scene.

     The third technique is the using the background music. In this film, there were lots of interesting background music, and Hitchcock used the background music other than making the mood scary. For example, the music started when the murderer came in to the bath. This music made the mood really urgent. And after the murder, the background music changed. The music made the mood bleak. And these background music were used to make us to realize that Marian is dead. This technique made this scene to be more interesting.

     The last techique is cutting. As everyone could see, there were really many cuts during the murder. There were about seventy cuts. During the murder, it started with Marian’s face, and changed to Marian’s lip, and changed to face of murderer, and changed again to Marian, and again to murderer, and whole body of Marian, and knives, and again to Marian and to murderer and it repeated for the several times until the murder ends. I could see that how the director worked really hard in this scene.

   Of course, there are specific reasons that why Hitchcock used these techniques. The main reason is to make the mood scary. Among those, the cutting was used to make the mood urgent. And the background musics were used to make us to know that the murder is happening. Which mean is that we could know that there were murder and she’ll die soon even though there were no such shots that shows stabbing or poking arms, legs or any body parts. The reason is by the background musics. The background musics made us to become aware of those things.

     In conclusion, these techniques, which are point of view, close up, background music, and cutting, made this scene really famous and valuable scene in the film history. Of course, not only because of these techniques, but the actors, and the filmmakers also helped a lot. I suppose that we could see how the Hitchcock and the other filmmakers worked really hard to make this scene. I think that because of these filmmakers, techniques, and hard works, this scene could be exist.


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2 thoughts on “Analysis Project # 2: Formal Analysis

  1. Thanks for this, Yeongbin. I would agree with Pawel’s comment above that it would be helpful to describe each shot in more detail– not just the perspective from which it comes, but the framing and content. I’d also like to see some of your thoughts about how these various techniques make us reflect in the process of filmmaking (the materiality of film). This is certainly a jarring film– why would Hitchcock choose such a dramatic and shocking approach to this scene? Why draw attention to the process of editing at this particular moment?

  2. Hey, you’re analysis was very descriptive, when taking into consideration the film terminology. Your writing is sort of unclear, but understandable. Also, by point of view I think what you should’ve said was first person, and third person. First is sort of framed from a person’s face, while third person sees everything. I do like the fact that you talked about the editing and cutting of the scenes. That’s what made the scene most famous. On top of that, the music seemed as if it cut up the woman with each beat. Good job

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