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Pregled bibliografske jedinice broj: 963196

In Shower with Hitchcock: Film Narration and Theatricality of Camera

Vrbančić, Mario
In Shower with Hitchcock: Film Narration and Theatricality of Camera // Narratology and its Discontents / Petlevski, S (ur.).
Zagreb: The Academy of Dramatic art Zagreb, 2017. str. 22-22 (predavanje, recenziran, sažetak, znanstveni)

In Shower with Hitchcock: Film Narration and Theatricality of Camera

Vrbančić, Mario

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, sažetak, znanstveni

Narratology and its Discontents / Petlevski, S - Zagreb : The Academy of Dramatic art Zagreb, 2017, 22-22

Narratology and its Discontents: Narrating beyond Narration

Mjesto i datum
Zagreb, Hrvatska, 6-8.04.2017

Vrsta sudjelovanja

Vrsta recenzije

Ključne riječi
Narrating film, Hitchcock, theatricality of cinema, fiction-within-fiction, ‘pure cinema’

As the title suggests, in this paper I will take you into the ‘shower’ with the master of suspense. It is a very strange shower indeed – a dry shower, you will not get wet despite the intensity of the water pouring all over you. Of course, I refer to the most famous shower scene in the history of cinema – the shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho. It is not just about the water and the body and all the eroticism of water touching the body – the shower sprinkles with innumerable questions, some of which William Rothman addressed in his book Hitchcock: Murderous Gaze, but, in my opinion, never quite fully realizing the consequences of his views for the analysis of ‘narrating beyond narration’. For Rothman (2012) there is no way to comprehend any film without a detailed and laborious account of the camera – its position, its role, its interplay between the eye and the gaze. Hence, in the famous shower scene, the camera’s performance is just as important as that of the woman’s body, the pouring water, and the mother’s murderous intrusion. As Rothman notes, in the shower scene the camera takes the position of the shower head, assumes the role of Marion’s imaginary partner and in the end peers out from the drain. In addition to that, the camera performance alludes to different systems of representation, a series of transitions from one medium to another. Rothman argues that the shower curtain hanging from a bar at the top of the screen forms a frame- within-a-frame that almost fills the screen, signifying theater, or the theatricality of the event. The camera declares that the world we are viewing is framed, framed by the curtain. The scene is not fully real, it is staged, only to be undermined by the intrusion of the silhouette wielding a knife. However, the silhouette within the frame-within-a-frame of the doorway is an incorporeal shadow, as if a projection on a screen. It suggests cinematic illusion that finishes with another framing, that is, a slow dissolve from the drain to an eye. The camera displaces the drain in the frame, appearing to peer out from within the drain – a hole-withina-hole of this eye. What Rothman misses in this series of framing, from a framewithin-a-frame to the hole-within- a-hole, is the ultimate hole as a frame, that is, fiction-within- fiction. And this is my main point of departure as I ‘stand’ in the enigmatic proximity of the Master of suspense, under the shower and soaking wet, questioning the dialectics between theater and cinema, approaching the central paradox of Hitchcock’s narration, and identifying that it is only through theatricality (of camera) that we can reach ‘pure cinema’.

Izvorni jezik

Znanstvena područja
Filologija, Interdisciplinarne humanističke znanosti, Filmska umjetnost (filmske, elektroničke i medijske umjetnosti pokretnih slika)


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Autor s matičnim brojem:
Mario Vrbančić, (295136)