Monday, March 3, 2014

Where did the music die?

Psycho (1960)

Often considered Alfred Hitchcock's greatest movie, yet having failed to make a mark initially, Psycho was one of the earliest psychological thrillers, making a mark for itself with its suspense and surprising ending. Hitchcock, of course, is today considering a leader in the area of psychological thrillers, but it wasn't always like that.

In Psycho, we meet Norman Bates, a strange man who runs a motel, with little success, and lives with his nagging mother, who has a constant presence throughout the movie right up to the end, although she is never actually seen except for a few seconds.

In terms of form, Psycho made excellent use of music to build up tension. This seems to be a forgotten technique today, with directors focusing more on the visual and the audio. The sounds of the movie are eternal and have inspired hundreds of spin-offs. As an experience, it also built up suspense as nothing else good. For a modern audience that is not enthusiastic about a movie in black-and-white, this factor makes up for that dimension. On its own though, it was a huge boost. 

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