Saturday, October 3, 2009
24 Frames: Psycho
First things first, I have to give "propers" to the blogsite Moon in the Gutter and it's author Jeremy Richey, the hardest work film blogger in show business. His feature Images From My Favorite Film inspired this new feature, 24 Frames. To he, who is taking the month off, I say thank you.
The origin of the feature's title is derived from the fact that in projected film, 24 frames equals one second of screen time. To kick off the feature, let's stick with the Psycho theme that started the first week of Horror Month.
For over twenty years I've been using Psycho as my ad hoc answer whenever someone asks me to name my favorite film of all-time. Is it still? Honestly, I don't know, I am not the fervent list maker some of my fellow cinephiles are. What I do know is that since I was a very young age, I have loved it, it was one of the first black and white films I ever saw (not counting Wizard of Oz), it was one of the first horror classics I saw and it was the first film where I was aware of the presence of a filmmaker.
I tried to limit the number of seminal images most people associate with Psycho here, but that proved to be a difficult task. There is a reason those shots have became classic and they still contain their potency. I could have done 24 frames of the shower sequence alone, the best example of the combination of flawless storyboarding, shot composition and editing used for maximum emotional and cinematic power. I hope you enjoy this feature and catch a few shots that you might not have noticed on your first few viewings of the film.
Here now is 24 frames or one second of Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock. Cinematography by John L. Russell)