Psycho (1960)

Cinema Classics Seminar: Psycho

Hitchcock: A Family Affair
Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Instructor: Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez, M.F.A., College of Liberal Arts, Temple University
Location: Multimedia Room
Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members; includes admission to the film
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Psycho (1960), the film for which Alfred Hitchcock is best known, plainly contains his most notable cinematic trademarks: a blonde woman in trouble, danger in everyday places, a Machiavellian matron, and, of course, an iconic cameo. But it also contains a more important and implicit element that had been missing from his films for years, possibly decades: subversion. In making this film as he made it, Hitchcock defied his studio (Paramount), trusted colleagues (including longtime collaborator Joan Harrison), narrative convention (its confounding story structure), and industry standards (for violence and “nudity”).

Psycho transferred the site of horror from the dank haunted house to the sanitary, bright bathroom, blurring the line between order and chaos, the mundane and the psychotic. With this film, the Master of Suspense created a visceral, kinetic, “counterpoint” cinema, explaining, “the point is to draw the audience right inside the situation instead of leaving them to watch it from outside, from a distance.” In this seminar, we will look at how Hitchcock did this in one of cinema’s most memorable scenes through a rhythmic montage of rapid cuts, a daring soundtrack, and an outrageous transference of point of view. We will also discuss how the film amplifies suspense, playfully navigates between genres, utilizes a voyeuristic camera, and leads viewers down strange, but satisfying, dead ends.

Sessions · Click to add to calendar
  • Tuesday, July 23
    6:30pm 2019-07-23 18:30:00 2019-07-23 21:30:00 America/New_York Cinema Classics Seminar: Psycho Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA