Monday, June 4, 2012

Psycho and Exposition

(Maybe I should technically say "explanations" in the title, but "exposition" sounds better . . . )

A few days ago, I watched Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho for the first time. It wasn't bad--I liked it more than some of his other films that I've seen; but I felt like it ended on a boring note since it had a longish explanation of certain facts about one of the central characters. Analysis is what I want to be able to do afterwards, not what I want the movie to do for me.

That's mostly the same reason I haven't clicked with the Hitchcock style. I can't say he wasn't a good filmmaker; I just don't like his style. He spells everything out in a very specific way, carefully controlling audience reactions. I prefer gray areas that leave things open to interpretation, open to multiple emotions, open to the reality of living versus the controlled environment of film.

I don't usually like for movies to move point by point the way his do. I like the emotion to lead the way, rather than the technicalities. And I don't like to be told what to think; I like my reactions to come as part of a more natural process. (I admit, you can say that Hitchcock controls your reactions in a natural way . . . but I think that's still in a different way. And also don't think that I am completely trashing his style; I can enjoy it sometimes--it just isn't my first pick.) I end up heartbroken at the end of Bright Star because I have grown close to the characters, empathized with them. Miss Potter ends on such a sweet note because happiness has come again after so much darkness threatened the world's innocence. But when Psycho ended, I just said, oh, so that's how the story worked . . . it was a little too temporary for me.

I don't want internal exposition; I want it to be outside of the movie, something for me to input.

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