Film / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
This paper looks at Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, `Psycho.`

This is an in-depth study about how performance and reality are blurred, using Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho,” as a case study. The author looks at the techniques the director used with his actors, how the movie was shot, and even at the way it was marketed to the general public. The author also looks at how acting allows both the actors and the public to cross gender boundaries, that would normally be taboo. Several studies done by women on gender, and performance in film are also discussed, in order to show how some of the gimmicks used in films such as “Psycho,” challenge the actors and their use of different techniques to present the characters.
“One of the most powerful aspects of acting as an impersonation is that it indicates the fluidity of gender boundaries by its very nature. A man can pretend to be a woman within the context of a play or vice versa. This gender impersonation was regularly undertaken and accepted as a theatrical convention in both the ancient Greek and Elizabethan theater, two distinct parts of our own present theatrical condition. Everyone watching a performance of a “Midsummer Night’s Dream in the 16th century knew that the person playing Hermia was really a young boy in costume. Yet they accepted this fact because it was part of the conventions of the theater. But by accepting this, one is complicit in the notion that gender is not simply a natural state of bodily being like sex. Rather clothing, length of hair, and other alterable factors that can be simulated in performance mark a character’s gender. In film, this ability to transform one’s gender can be limited to a lesser degree by the closeness of the camera.

Leave a Reply