Sunday, 16 January 2011

Intertexuality in film

Hitchcocks iconic shower scene in 'Psycho' has been similary used in Thriller films such as The Step Father. Elements used to make up this scene include of course, the white tiled bathroom.
  •  The close up on the plug hole
  • The water swirling around it.
  • High pitched screeching
  • The Birdseye view of the Shower head
  • The shower curtain
  • The attackers Knife
  • The white headlamp
  • Marions bathrobe
  • Toilet and sink basin.

Intertextuality is the visual referencing between films.  In other words, it simply means when films borrow certain aspects from a film, such as certain camera angles or shots used, specific mise en scene or just the music or sound which is easily detectable in other films, such as 'Psycho.'

In class we watched three different Thriller films which included a Hollywood blockbuster to a budget student movie.  We noted the certain aspects 'borrowed' from 'Psycho' and making comparisons.  However, these films that we watched did follow the whole sequence of how the shower scene was shot in 'Psycho' but each one had  a way of doing so, having a little twist to each of their scenes.

What Lies Beneath
 Aspects borrowed from 'Psycho':
  • White tiles
  • White curtains
  • White Bathtub
  • Sounds of shower water
  • High angle of shower head
  • Bathrobe
We see a man carrying a lifeless body, which looks like a woman up the stairs, similary just like the ones used in The Stepfather (Not only is intertexuality is used from Psycho but from The Stepfather). He seems to be heading towards the bathroom.  He has drugged her, leaving her to sit in the bathtub feeling 'paralysed'. In depth, his victim is wearing a bathrobe just like Marion (girl in Psycho), the only difference is the colour. Before she is put into the bathtub, the white curtains are drawn behind the tub which is diffrent compared to Psycho but the white tub, water still remains. The birdseye view shot of the tub has been used, with the shower head powered on. As she is placed in the bathtub, the man arranges her head in the same position as Marion after she was attacked.
At the start of the film, hints are given as the title "WHAT LIES BENEATH" is placed underwater which could have been prophetic, as it tells us what may happen later in the film. The text could be representing the people in the bathroom.

Fatal Attraction
 Aspects borrowed from Psycho:
  • White bathroom
  • High screeching
  • Screaming
  • knife
  • Headlight/lamp
 This time, a dark figure is walking across the street passing some people by. We can't see who it is but his shadow reflects on the brick wall besides him, weaving in and out as we see a shadow and then a real body. He gets inside struggles with a woman, chasing her all over the house. The shattering glass door imitates the shower curtain. The woman is again, wearing a white dress which could be a replacement of the bathrobe. The shuddering screams of Marion can be similary heared from the woman reminding us of Psycho, there are lots of medium close up shots of the actors/ress' heads but most importantly most of this scene is taking place in the white bathroom.  The woman unsuspectedly pulls out a knife, jut like the one used in Psycho, to attack the man.  He knocks into a headlamp, shining brightly whislt moving back and forth which is recognisable behind the killer in Psycho.

The Stepfather
Aspects borrowed from Psycho:
  • White bathroom - Bathtub
  • Screeching
  • Shower Curtain :
  •    - Ripping
  •    - David wrapped up in the curtain
 David chases his partner turned victim Susan up the stairs (as mentioned in What lies beneath) as he tries to attack her but she locks herself in the bathroom.  The screeching noise is hard to unotice, as it is played throughout this whole tense scene.  The shattering of the glass is also used in What lies beneath and that type of knife. Before David falls into the tub, I can recall the same Birdseye view shot of the shower curtain ripping of the line (close up), with David falling into the tub, ripping the curtain along with him, sitting in the same position Marion was in.
  • Succubus (Student Thriller)

Aspects borrowed from Psycho:
  • White tiled Bathroom
  • Shower head
  • Sounds of water
  • Toes
  • Showering
  • Knife
  • Save point of Shots
So it looks like there is a girl suspiciously walking towards the bathroom, where a young man is showering. She walks up the stairs to get to the bathroom (like The Stepfather.) Before she attacks him she sniffs his jacket, indicating an obsession with her victim.  Clutching the Psycho style knife, she plunges it repetedly into her victim , splattering blood onto her white vest top. The white headlamp is visible behind her like in Psycho. The way she attacks him is similar to Psycho, with the shaky camera movements and not seeing her victim getting attacked.

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