Theme Of Voyeurism In Psycho

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
…show more content…
Her essay discusses the role of women in narrative cinema and their sexual objectification due to the male gaze. This essay will only reference her claims about the woman as a “spectacle”. She asserts, “In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed…The presence of woman is an indispensable element of spectacle in normal narrative film…” (11). The owl is not alive, yet Crane is a “spectacle” for the owl and for Bates who watches her as they converse. She is the “spectacle” of the scene, the foreign object that has gained the attention of all other eyes, alive and lifeless, in the parlor and in the audience. Linda Williams writes, “[The woman] exists only to be looked at” (Williams

Related Documents