Psycho Essay, Research Paper
Comp Lit 271
Being the props/set designer for the parlor scene in Psycho was a very intriguing task. Originally, boring old Hitchcock wanted to put some stuffed birds in the Norman?s parlor, but lucky for me, and the film, he was sick that day. I liked the idea of Bates being a taxidermist in his spare time, but I wanted to elaborate on that idea a bit more. Instead of putting just birds in the parlor, I decided to put pictures of embalmed bodies on the wall, stuffed ape heads, along with some feministic interior decorations. The reason for the photos of embalmed bodies is to give not only Marion a creepy feeling of what Norman is all about, but also the audience. We learn later in the film that he has embalmed his mother in the house so I thought that some pictures of acts such as this would be appropriate, especially for foreshadowing. The stuffed ape heads is my favorite idea of mine over Hitchcock?s dumb birds idea because an ape head looks very similar to a human head. Again, this would give the scene a very creepy feeling and offer to the audience that Norman Bates is not your average Joe. Anyone who would participate, or maybe practice stuffing heads of apes that look similar to a human head shows to the audience that they are unusual and seem to enjoy to preserve creatures, or mothers for that matter. Overall, to make the scene much more interesting, I decorated the room with flowered wall paper, baskets filled with potpourri, and other little ?womanish? things such as flowers and antique plates and spoons. Ultimately, Bates put these things in the parlor while he was in his mother?s state of mind, but the important thing is, is that the audience does not know he has two personalities and therefore would wonder why this man has stuffed ape heads, pictures of embalmed dead bodies that are curiously surrounded with ?Old Woman?-type wallpaper and decorations. Hitchcock was on to something with the birds idea, but I feel that my additions to mise-en-scene revolving around the parlor scene fit the image of Norman Bates more accurately and will ultimately make the film more interesting and the foreshadowing will be that much better to the audience.