Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Intertextuality is a term used to describe visual referencing between films. Put simpler, its when films “borrow” from one another with either camera angles or aspects of mise en scene.  A film which has become an icon for directors to borrow methods from without actually copying it is of course Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

An example of a film which is influenced by Psycho to create a suspenseful scene without actually copying Psycho is a scene in Fatal Attraction. In this scene, straight away one major similarity apparent between the two films is the male taking on the role of the more powerful one who is after the female the one portrayed as being weaker. Similarly, the mise en scene is taking from Psycho once again, with the famous bath scene, however the difference in Fatal Attraction, is that the woman doesn’t actually die in the bathroom, but only seems to fall and carry on, the bathroom is not where the scene revolves around, however is present in order to create suspense as she falls on the floor and we begin to think he will catch her. Consequently, the close up of the woman as she’s on the bathroom floor is similar to the close up of the woman in the shower in Psycho, one because of the close up itself, and two because they both have a plane white background behind them at that very moment. Also the costumes used are similar as both women are in dressing gowns which created suspense, as dressing gowns have connotations of sleep and privacy and having a man disturb that creates drama and worry as it’s not the way it should be.

We also saw an example of previous media student and their own media production and how that was influenced by Psycho but at the same time kept original. The mise en scene was similar in the sense that it was in a shower and main props such as the knife were used, this mise en scene is great at creating suspense because the person in the shower is unaware as to what is happening around him,while at the same time we see the girl on the other side making her way closer and closer to him until she pull out a knife, which builds up anticipation as to what will happen next. The way the students managed to make their film different thought was by changing the roles around and having the male as the victim rather than the female.

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