Monday 4 – Saturday 9 December, 2006
Venue: The House
Released in 1960, and now widely regarded as a masterpiece, Psycho has had a profound influence, not just on cinema, but on the late-20th Century psyche.
Modern obsessions with serial killers, gender ambiguity, graphic violence and the isolation and menace of post-modern spaces likes motels and motorways can all be traced back to this remarkable film. It was a bold experiment. Its creator, Alfred Hitchcock, was at that time the foremost director in Hollywood, commanding huge budgets and big stars, but he chose to film it in black and white, with a small crew and only one star (and she gets killed halfway through!).
As many directors have done subsequently, he reduced his material resources in order to have a premium of directorial control and the opportunity to explore radical changes in his medium. In this respect, it might be said to mark the beginning of ‘auteur’ cinema – i.e. cinema dominated by the vision of its director (author), as opposed to cinema conforming to traditional expectations and commercial goals.
Psycho has been endlessly discussed and analysed since it terrified its first audiences, but Hitchcock himself was profoundly reluctant to discuss his work seriously, adopting a public persona halfway between a clown and a bank manager, while in the studio, stories and rumours abounded concerning his autocracy, obsessionality, voyeurism and misogyny. These are all important themes in Psycho, and our performance will be exploring them in different ways and from different vantage-points.