Alfred Hitchcock 1899 - 1980 Born in London, moved to California in 1939 Known for well-made SUSPENSE thrillers! Started in film as a title designer. Later became art director then director of films for Lasky studio. Neo-Hitchcockian thrillers look the way they do today because of Hitchcock. Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming that uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements. Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer's moods giving them a high level of anticipation, ultraheightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and/or terror. Thriller films tend to be adrenaline-rushing, gritty, rousing and fast-paced. Literary devices such as red herrings, plot twists and cliffhangers are used extensively. A thriller is a villain-driven plot, whereby he or she presents obstacles that the protagonist must overcome. (Wikipedia) Hitchock is an auteur. Auteur—a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp. Trademarks: • Appears in cameos in his films, usually in the beginning so the audience doesn’t get too distracted looking for him and lose focus on the story. • Bathrooms are often a plot device. What?! • Liked using a shot to feature a female’s hairstyle. • Themes often of “wrong man” or “mistaken identity.” • Icy Blonde women…harsh blondes. Sexually enticing but frigid— cold emotion. • Motifs of lost or assumed identities. • He was always in a suit on film sets. At the end of a shoot, would toss a teacup behind his back. • “In order to create suspense in his films, he would alternate between different shots to extend cinematic time. His driving sequences were also shot in this particular way. They would typically alternate b/w the character’s p-o-v while driving and a close-up shot of those inside car from opposite direction. This technique kept the viewer ‘inside’ the car and made any danger encountered more richly felt.” • Uses city as backdrop. Lots of shots of significant city/town scenes. • MacGuffin—object of device which drive the plot and are of great interest but prove insignificant and are forgotten by the audience once they’ve served their purpose. • Name often appears before film titles. PSYCHO • Filmed in b/w. Too gory in color. Made film for less than $1 million. • First American film to show a toilet flushing onscreen. Realism. • Movie split in two parts. • Cast didn’t know the ending of the film until H. was ready to shoot it. • Trailers to create suspense. Once the movie began no one was permitted to enter later. Psycho Trailer • Drivers often get out of the car on the passenger side. H. wanted to shoot w/out moving the camera, or have to follow the actor, or have the actor walk b/w the car and the camera. • Hitchcockian shot/Zolly shot—Investigator falls down the stairs, camera pulls back and zooms forward or vice-versa. Zoom Dolly Shot • Shower scene—7 days to film, 70 camera setups, 90 splices, 45 seconds of footage, heated water for Janet Leigh. Chocolate syrup for blood. Knife sound on melon. Janet Leigh’s parts were covered. You never see her parts and the knife never actually cuts her in the scene. • References to birds—Marion CRANE, Norman’s hobby is stuffing birds, refers to her as she “eats like a bird.” H’s next film, The Birds. • Sinking car scene, faulty hydraulics. Anthony Perkins fear to the film crew is real but stayed in character. • The novel the film was based was inspired by the serial killer Ed Gein. Other films inspired by him Deranged, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs.