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Discuss the use of sound in the film Psycho (1960 by Alfred Hitchcock) - Essay Example

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Name: Professor: Course: Date: Use of sound to enhance the movie Psycho The film Psycho tries to engage the audience in a stunning yet symbolic manner. Being a suspense filled horror film, the director Alfred Hitchcock makes good use of dialogue, sound effects, and background music superimposed with elusive imagery to bring out a magnificent piece of art…
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Discuss the use of sound in the film Psycho (1960 by Alfred Hitchcock)
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Download file to see previous pages Hitchcock work was previously known to be filled with romantic elements. In psycho, Hitchcock tries to subvert these elements; in fact, romance is particularly elusive as the audience is denied clarity or fulfillment of romance throughout the film. In this work, the past of most characters is catching up with their present. Destructive histories of the main characters are the prelude of their ruin. For example, Marion one of the main characters skips town after stealing $ 40,000 from her realtor firm. This is catching up with her as an investigation is launched and she is a key suspect. Though the film had its share of controversy perhaps its biggest attribute is how sound and voice were used. This paper will review how Hitchcock uses sound to enhance key themes in the film Psycho. The shower scene is conceivably one of the most tantalizing in the film Psycho, it signaled the pivotal point of the movie. In 2013, it was voted as the best shower scene of all time. The US Library of Congress has since selected the film Psycho for preservation at the NFR. Though Hitchcock had intended to have imagery as the imposing feature in this scene, Herrmann works his magic to bring out an authentic mise-en-scene by using sound. ...
Ultimately, this score managed to bring out the abyss of human longing, regret, psyche, and fear. Though this sequence only run for three minutes, Hitchcock put a lot of work to come up with it. It has been alleged that the scene took about a week to shot and incorporated more that seventy different cameras. The sound track in this scene is made up of shrieking violins, cello, and violas that sound like birds (Hitchcock, Alfred, and Bill 262). The sounds that depict a knife entering human flesh, screams by Marion and the blood on the shower complete a captivating mise-en-scene. Hitchcock makes good use of sound effect to enhance specific themes. Both synchronous and asynchronous sound effects are evident throughout the film. In the sequence were Bates is chasing after Lila, on discovery of Mrs. Bates, she whispers “Mrs. Bates,” but mother does not respond. The silence that unfolds, then the swivel sound of her chair and finally screams by Lila on discovery of the desiccated body of mother is a classic example of use of synchronous sound effects. In this instance, Hitchcock uses synchronous sound effects to depict the theme of violence and grimness. Use of asynchronous sound effects is also evident in this work. In the scene where Arbogast is killed, though we do not get to see mother in this scene, we can hear her stumbling feet on the stairs as she chases Arbogast. The enhancement of the stumbling feet sounds underscores the danger that faces Arbogast. This sequence clearly accentuates themes such as dread and survival. Hitchcock makes good use of dialogue to characterize his plot. Throughout the film, the dialogue that unfolds bounces the viewer from one scene to the next. The tension between the conversation between ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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