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Tag: Psycho (1-5 of 5)

As 'Hitchcock' arrives, here's a look back at the mystique of 'Psycho'

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This post combines two earlier pieces that I wrote about Psycho: one published on June 16, 2010, to mark the film’s 50th anniversary, the other as an essay for EW University.

Eyes. Drains. Stuffed birds. Windshield wipers. $40,000. Marion Crane. The Bates Motel. Norman Bates. Mrs. Bates. “She isn’t quite herself today.” A toilet. A study. A stutter. A private trap. A peephole. A kitchen knife. Skree skree skree skree! “Mother, oh God — blood, Mother, blood!” A car. A swamp. The Bates house. A detective. A crane shot. A creased bed. A sister. A boyfriend. A detective. An attic. A cellar. A rocking chair. A lightbulb. A wig. Skree skree skree skree! A psychiatrist. An asylum. A fly. A smile of the damned….

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was released in the summer of 1960, and in the half a century since, it has become the rare movie in which every image and detail and motif is now, more or less, iconic. Every moment in the movie is a piece of mythological Americana.

In a way that I couldn’t quite say about any other film, I feel as if I’ve spent most of my movie life thinking — and writing — about Psycho. Part of the film’s mystique is that no matter how many times you’ve seen it (and it may be the ultimate movie that you can watch over and over again), it keeps coming back to provoke and tantalize and haunt you. Its power of revelation never wears thin or gets old. It’s one of the only films in Hollywood history — the others, I would say, are The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Star Wars — that is so alive, its experience so vivid and immediate and larger-than-life, that it effectively transcends time. (One of the reasons that Hitchcock, the broadly infectious, once-over-lightly new biopic about the making of Psycho, gets away, to a degree, with its filigree of factual distortions is that both Hitchcock and Psycho are now such a part of our pop folklore that to approach this chapter of film history even in a slightly exaggerated manner is to touch a certain truth.) READ FULL STORY

'Maniac' trailer: Elijah Wood goes a little mad sometimes

Elijah Wood seems like one of the gentlest, kindest, most ethereal actors in movies, so the notion of him playing a murderous serial killer is initially difficult to fathom. I mean, he wouldn’t harm a fly. Ah… he wouldn’t harm a fly. That’s the rub, isn’t it? That “harm a fly” line is famously from the final scene of Psycho, and Wood, who stars in a remake of Maniac as a slasher with mommy issues, possesses the same preternatural sweetness that Anthony Perkins did in Hitchcock’s 1960 classic.

Take a look at the new NSFW teaser for Maniac, which debuts this week at Cannes. READ FULL STORY

FIRST IMAGE: Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock

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Cue the Alfred Hitchcock Presents music!

Anthony Hopkins is attempting to step into the shadow of the legendary director for the movie, Hitchcock, the story behind the making of Psycho, so it makes perfect sense that the first image of the Oscar-winner playing the director captures his iconic silhouette. Head titled back, heavy-lidded eyes, jowly. Not bad, Mr. Hopkins. You can practically hear the auteur’s slow, phlegmatic drawl.

The movie began shooting last week, with Helen Mirren as Hitch’s wife, Alma, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, Michael Stuhlbarg as Lew Wasserman, and Toni Collette as Hitchcock’s secretary Peggy.

I know what you’re thinking… When will Fox Searchlight release a respectively iconic image of Johansson as Janet Leigh?

Read more:
Jessica Biel joins ‘Psycho’ movie
Scarlett Johansson to play Janet Leigh in ‘Psycho’ movie
Book review: ‘Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho’

Scarlett Johansson to play Janet Leigh in 'Psycho' movie -- report

Scarlett Johannson will portray actress Janet Leigh, the Psycho actress whose shower scene shocked 1960 audiences, in a movie depicting the making of that film, according to Variety. Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho will star Anthony Hopkins as the legendary directory, Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma, and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins. Sacha Gervasi, who wrote The Terminal (2004), will direct.

Read more:
Soderbergh says, ‘It’s always good to kill your stars’
‘The Psycho Legacy’

'Psycho' turns 50 today, but it's the most eternal of all thrillers -- the one that changed movies, and the world

psycho-screamImage Credit: Everett CollectionEyes. Drains. Stuffed birds. Windshield wipers. $40,000. Marion Crane. The Bates Motel. Norman Bates. Mrs. Bates. “She isn’t quite herself today.” A toilet. A study. A stutter. A private trap. A peephole. A kitchen knife. Skree skree skree skree! “Mother, oh God — blood, Mother, blood!” A car. A swamp. The Bates house. A detective. A crane shot. A creased bed. A sister. A boyfriend. A detective. An attic. A cellar. A rocking chair. A lightbulb. A wig. Skree skree skree skree! A psychiatrist. An asylum. A fly. A smile of the damned…. Half a century ago today, on June 16, 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho had its world premiere in New York City, and in the 50 years since it has become the rare movie in which every image and detail and motif is now, more or less, iconic. Every moment in the movie is a piece of mythological Americana.

In a way that I couldn’t quite say about any other film, I feel as if I’ve spent most of my movie life thinking — and writing — about Psycho. Here’s the essay about it that I did last year as part of EW University; it sums up my essential thoughts and feelings about the movie. Part of the wonder of Psycho, though, is that no matter how many times you’ve seen it (or, as I’ve discovered, written about it), it keeps coming back to provoke and tantalize and haunt you. Its power of revelation never wears thin or gets old. It’s one of the only films in Hollywood history — the others, I would say, are The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Star Wars — that is so alive, with a presence so vivid and immediate and larger-than-life, that it effectively transcends time.

With that in mind, I thought I’d celebrate the 50th birthday of Psycho with some free-floating thoughts and memories of what this movie has meant to me and why. And I thought I’d invite you, down below, to do the same. In its maliciously playful macabre way, Psycho is really the ultimate movie party, a ghoulishly profound gothic trapdoor funhouse that you almost literally feel like you enter each time you watch it. Let’s all go into the funhouse and take another look around. READ FULL STORY

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