A Long Hard Look at "Psycho" (Hardback)Raymond Durgnat (author)
Hardback Published: 01/04/2002
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In an American Film Institute poll in 2001, Psycho was voted the greatest thriller of all time. It has scenes and characters that 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 outdone, 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 minute analysis of the film he explores all the elements that make up this remarkable film. In addition he 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 unmissable contribution to the study of Hitchcock. 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 Bu uel, 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.
Publisher: British Film Institute
Weight: 599 g
Dimensions: 241 x 159 x 19 mm
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