This blog is part of the courses on film, art, literature, and media
given by Dr.
Hudson Moura, Toronto, Canada.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hitchcock's Psycho

“Hithcock extended the transition from life to death into the surrounding mise en scène (Psycho). For a moment, the stillness of the recently animated body is juxtaposed with the stream of water still pouring from the shower, inanimate material in unrelenting movement. First, in close-up, the water runs down the drain, creating a circular axis that the camera echoes just before this image dissolves. The circular movement prefigures the nex close-up on Marion’s eye. As the involuntary flickering of the eye is usually a guarantee of life itself, its fixed, inanimate stare becomes uncanny. Just when the image’s stillness seems necessarily to derive from a photograph, a single drop of water falls in front of the camera. Its effect is to reanimate the image, to create another contrast with the inanimate corpse. The paradox of the cinema’s uncertain boundary between stillness and movement also finds a fleeting visibility. The stillness of the “corpse” is a reminder that the cinema’s living and moving body are simply animated stills and the homology between stillness and death returns to haunt the moving image.”
Laura Mulvey, Death 24 x a second

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