Alfred Hitchcock 's Cinematic Style Essay

Alfred Hitchcock 's Cinematic Style Essay

Length: 1127 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sir Alfred Hitchcock is recognised as one of the most pioneering and renowned directors in the history of cinema (Hockensmith A, 2012). His cinematic style that favours the use of suspense over surprise has become iconic and influential in modern film. Hitchcock’s early days as an assistant director at the UFA Babelsberg Studios in Berlin (German Expressionism, 2007), had a lasting impact on some of his later works produced in Hollywood. During Hitchcock’s time in Germany he became fascinated with German Expressionism. The film style, prevalent in the 1920s, arose from Germany’s post World War I experiences and largely reflects the dismal reality of life during the era and often invokes distorted and abstract images, as opposed to naturalism (Kevin, 2016). Hitchcock used these distinguishable techniques, such as the use of abstract sets, oblique camera angles and stark shadows and silhouettes to create suspense and instability in his own films. Psycho (1960) is undeniably Hitchcock’s greatest box office success and a landmark of suspense cinema. Infamous for its controversial scenes and twisted storyline, Psycho’s plot largely revolves around two central characters, Marion Crane, a young woman who uncharacteristically steals a large sum of money and is later murdered, by Norman Bates, a psychologically troubled man. Favouring the use of cinematography as apposed to other cinematic techniques to narrate a story, Psycho employs camera angles and montage editing as vital mechanisms to elicit an emotional response from the viewer.
Hitchcock uses contrasting angles to manipulate the mood of his scenes. This is best established during the ‘Parlour scene’, when a discussion between Marion Crane and Norman Bates becomes tense on the to...

... middle of paper ...

...ffective as the audience’s imagination is much stronger than anything that he could or was allowed to graphically depict on screen. Hitchcock’s employment of montage editing relies on what one brings to it as a viewer, as the audience always perceives the worst, which is what becomes so innately frightening.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s work as an auteur was grounded in the concept of film being first and foremost a visual medium, second to other methods of storytelling. Hitchcock employs camera angles and montage editing as vital mechanisms to elicit varying emotional responses from the viewer. This is evident throughout his extensive list of film credits and certainly, what is arguably his greatest film, Psycho. His unique cinematic approach to his films left an undeniable trademark, placing him deservedly amongst the greatest directors in the history of modern cinema.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo Essay

- The film, Vertigo (1958) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is classified as a genre combination of mystery, romance, suspense and thriller about psychological obsession and murder. Filmed on location in San Francisco and on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, California in 1957, the cultural features of the late 1950’s America were depicted in the films mise en scène by costume and set designs current for that time period. The film was produced at the end of the golden age of Hollywood when the studio system was still in place....   [tags: Vertigo Film Analysis]

Strong Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

Alfred Hitchcock Essay examples

- Films were a great form of entertainment from their debut in the early 1900’s and continued to grow more popular over the years. The film making business hit a growth period in the 1920’s. In Hollywood, the assembly line “studio” system of producing a movie was changed and refined, and the famous studious that dominate Hollywood production today, such as Universal Studious, were being put together. Censorship regulations were being formulated for the first time, and Wall Street began to take a more prominent, powerful role in film making....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1739 words (5 pages)

Alfred Hitchcock's Movie, Psycho and its Impact on the Film Industry Essay

- Alfred Hitchcock's Movie, Psycho and its Impact on the Film Industry The 1960's marked a big change in American cinema. With the collapse of the Hollywood Studio System came a weakening of censorship laws; sex and violence moved from obscurity to the forefront of mainstream cinema (Nowell-Smith 464). Although it quickly became clear that a market existed for such films, the earliest attempts to foray into the world of modern cinema were met with ambivalence. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, made in 1960, was one of the first of many to depict sexuality and violence in a graphic manner (Nowell-Smith 491)....   [tags: Movies]

Strong Essays
2877 words (8.2 pages)

Using Peeping Tom ( 1960 ) Directed By Michael Powell And Psycho Essay

- In this essay I will be analysing the use of cinematography in two films, using Peeping Tom (1960) directed by Michael Powell and Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The reason why I choose these two films is because although they are from the same genre, and from the same period, the methods both films use are similar and at the same time completely different. To begin with, the cinematography in Peeping Tom is very clever and subjective especially in the murder scenes. The main character uses the tripod of his 16mm film camera in order to murder people, and showing the audience his footage rather than shooting it how the rest of the film is shot creating a suspense and tension that...   [tags: Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock, Color, Film director]

Strong Essays
1555 words (4.4 pages)

Cinematic Techniques in Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark Essay

- Cinematic Techniques in Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark   Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark takes the movies for its style as well as its subject matter. In recounting the farcical tragedy of director Albinus and starlet Margot, Nabokov imports a wide variety of techniques and imagery from the cinema into the novel. But Nabokov's "cinematic" style is not analagous to that of a screenplay: the polished prose is always tinged with the novelist's trademark irony. Gavriel Moses notes that   Nabokov's most consistent reaction to popular films in their public context is his awareness that the film image......   [tags: Movie Film Essays]

Strong Essays
2221 words (6.3 pages)

Spielberg : The Artistic And Managerial Styles Of Spielberg Essay

- Spielberg has shown his ability to differentiate himself from other filmmakers through his unprecedented ability to technological changes. Clearly many filmmakers have attempted to emulate both the artistic and managerial styles of Spielberg, but his ideas have been transformative. Based purely on the numerous accolades Spielberg has received, he has differentiated himself from others. What really differentiates himself from other filmmakers are his unrivaled cinematic techniques. His ability to use high tech computer graphics and complex editing techniques show his desire to produce inspirational works of art....   [tags: Film director, Alfred Hitchcock, Film, Management]

Strong Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

Alfred Hitchcock : The Master Of Suspense Essay

- What is the secret to a suspenseful movie. Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense. Hitchcock has a certain formula to make a successful film. There are four elements that are important to a Hitchcock film. First is the story. Then is the characters. Next it is the cinematic shots. Finally it is the suspense. The story is very important to the film. The story should be simple and easy to follow. Dialogue should be used when the situation can not be explained with actions. It is important for you to use objects to tell a story....   [tags: Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho, Tippi Hedren, Cary Grant]

Strong Essays
778 words (2.2 pages)

Review Of Alfred Hitchcock 's Films Essay

- Alfred Hitchcock’s films not only permanently scar the brains of his viewers but also addict them to his suspense. Hitchcock’s films lure you in like a trap, he tells the audience what the characters don’t know and tortures them with the anticipation of what’s going to happen. Suspense is only one of Hitchcock’s many techniques and themes. His themes range from the obvious violence, to the depths of human interaction and sex. From Rear Window to Psycho, Hitchcock’s unique themes are present and evident....   [tags: Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho, George Tomasini]

Strong Essays
1143 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis Of Alfred Hitchcock 's ' Psycho ' Essay

- Introduce Thesis: Even if you haven’t seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, you’ve seen it because it is apart of our collective unconscious and because of this, it has influenced a following that lead to the creation of the series Bates Motel. This prequel set in present day Oregon uses similar cinematic elements and monologue used in Psycho to explain why and how Norman Bates is a sociopath. Throughout the film and series jarring and uncomfortable scenes are accompanied by eerie string music, Norman spying on women undressing, as well as a fixation for stuffed animals....   [tags: Psycho, Norman Bates, Alfred Hitchcock]

Strong Essays
893 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Alfred Hitchcock's Ability to Scare

- Throughout the years, many directors have been making movies that seem to "scare the hell out of people". From thrilling to just suspenseful scenes, Alfred Hitchcock explores different techniques to ensure that he captures the audience's attention. The characters in Hitchcock's films play a very important role in creating the tensions and twists, causing that heart stopping moment where you just want to yell at the TV. He uses the characters like strategically placed chess pieces, knowing exactly when to make his move....   [tags: Alfred Hitchcock's Film Analysis]

Free Essays
779 words (2.2 pages)