Essay on Review Of Alfred Hitchcock 's ' A Pocket Guide '

810 Words 4 Pages
The film, as an entity, contains many elements, from the narrative to the mise-en-scène to the editing of the film. Robert Spadoni discusses many of the elements of film in his book A Pocket Guide to Analyzing Films. One element he briefly examines is the utilization of the prop and how the prop becomes a motif. To further explore this concept, this essay will consider Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. In this film, Hitchcock subjects Marion Crane to the voyeur through his placement of the owl in the parlor scene at the Bates Motel.
When initially entering the parlor, Marion Crane’s surprise at the number of taxidermy birds mounted on the walls and placed on the tables is evident. The bird shown the most frequently in this scene is the owl. In the corner of the room facing Crane’s seat, the owl positioned overhead flexes its claws and stares blankly ahead. The owl is a largely nocturnal predatory bird that eats rodents, domestic birds, and even other owls. Norman Bates mentions that he prefers stuffed birds to another taxidermy animal because when they were alive they were “passive”. That is not the case with the owl that is ready to attack its prey, the unaware Marion Crane. In this way, the owl embodies both the voyeur and the predator, while Crane represents the bearer of the look and the prey. Hitchcock reveals Bates as the voyeur and the predator as he murders Crane shortly thereafter.
Laura Mulvey’s essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, has been influential…

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