Long Hard Look at 'Psycho' / Edition 2

Long Hard Look at 'Psycho' / Edition 2

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by Raymond Durgnat
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1844573583

ISBN-13: 2901844573584

Pub. Date: 12/07/2010

Publisher: BFI Publishing

Illustrated
In an American Film Institute poll in 2001, Psycho was voted the greatest thriller of all time. Its scenes and characters are among the most iconic in all cinema.
Alfred Hitchcock was prompted to make Psycho after seeing Clouzot's Les Diaboliques (1954), which took the thriller genre to a new level of shock-value. Not to be undone, Hitchcock

Overview

Illustrated
In an American Film Institute poll in 2001, Psycho was voted the greatest thriller of all time. Its scenes and characters are among the most iconic in all cinema.
Alfred Hitchcock was prompted to make Psycho after seeing Clouzot's Les Diaboliques (1954), which took the thriller genre to a new level of shock-value. Not to be undone, Hitchcock adapted a pulp novel by Robert Bloch with a view to pulling off an unprecedented feat of audience manipulation.
The result was a triumph, the talk of the moviegoing world in 1960. But most of the talk, then and since, has been about the twist. In spite of the widespread acknowledgment of Hitchcock's and his collaborators' achievements on Psycho, its complexity and sophistication as cinema aren't fully appreciated.
In this book, Raymond Durgnat shows the extent of the achievement. In a meticulous analysis, he explores all the elements that make up this remarkable film. He also develops various lines of argument-about spectatorship, Hollywood narrative codes, psychoanalysis, editing and shot-composition, among other themes-that amount to a reinvention of cinema studies.
With more than 150 illustrations, A Long Hard Look at Psycho is likely to become the definitive book on its subject and an indispensible contribution to the study of Hitchcock.

Author Biography:The author of one of the seminal works of Hitchcock criticism, The Strange Case of Alfred Hitchcock (1974), Raymond Durgnat is one of Britain's pre-eminent writers on cinema. He has also written books on Buñuel, Franju, Renoir, sexual alienation in the cinema, and a study of WR - Mysteries of the Organism for the BFI Modern Classics series (1999). He is Visiting Professor at the University of East London.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901844573584
Publisher:
BFI Publishing
Publication date:
12/07/2010
Series:
BFI Silver Series
Pages:
290

Table of Contents

Introduction to the 2010 edition by Henry Miller
• Introduction to the 2002 edition
• Developing the Film
• A Long Hard Look at 'Psycho'
• Matters Arising * Notes
• Credits
• Bibliography

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Long Hard Look at Psycho 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Watkins_FreelanceReviewer More than 1 year ago
The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock's, 'Psycho,' continues to captivate, and inspire film critics, filmmakers, writers, and all who has the need to dissect his work in order to understand his genius. A Long Hard Look at 'Psycho' is an extensive study of the classic film and our reactions to the ingenious shots, sound, and imagery - an assessment into the mind of the master of suspense. Durgnat analysis every aspect of each scene filmed, and continues too - for lack of a better word, dismember many scenes. Let us look at the man known as one of the most well respected critics of our time. Durgnat was an experienced writer, a fanatic film history scholar, and a master of critiques with a distinctive style to say the least. In the late 1970s, he taught film in California along side, Manny Farber, Jean-Pierre Gorin and Jonathan Rosenbaum. He often lectured on cinema at several academic institutions towards the end of his life in 2002. He was the author of several groundbreaking books such as, Films and Feelings (1967), A Mirror For England (1970), Sexual Alienation in the Cinema (1971), The Strange Case of Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Renoir (both 1974), and a study of WR: Mysteries of the Organism in the BFI film classics series (1999). On page 176 'Making Conversation,' Durgnat describes the feelings of the first-time viewer towards Norman and a small portion of it reads as follows, "As deceitful in this conversation as he is, it's in a vulnerable way, as a victim of Arbogast's aggression, so he benefits from the 'Marnie effect' (audience sympathy for a hard pressed criminal in difficulty). He's very sensitive, in a way quite fresh among villains, and it elicits what Hollywood called 'audience recognition' - the audience recognizing, on screen, its own, intimate experience - in this case, of exasperating conversations. Norman's situation may be 'melodramatic' (extreme), but his 'surface sensitivity' finds echoes aplenty in us." In all I found Raymond Durgnat's categorization of (Alfred Hitchcock's), 'Psycho' annoying, stimulating, and at certain points in the book nothing short of - mind blowing! I did find it to be a scholastic read and one I will not soon forget. I am proud to add it to my book collection and I know that you will be too. Bookpleasures Review, by Barbara Watkins