Who Is Alfred Hitchcock Voyeurism

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Sir Alfred Hitchcock is recognised amongst the most pioneering and renowned directors in the history of cinema. His unique approach to his cinematographic style was iconic and influential in the progression of modern film. Hitchcock’s works are deeply rooted in the elements of German Expressionism and the subsequent inspired Film Noir genre. The film movement, mostly prevalent in the 1920s, largely reflected the dismal reality of life during the era and often invoked distorted and abstract images, as opposed to naturalism. Hitchcock used these distinguishable techniques, such as the use of abstract sets, oblique camera angles and stark shadows and silhouettes to enhance a sense of fear and instability in his own films.

Undeniably, Hitchcock’s
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His trademark employment of voyeurism was a part of his means of breaking down standard cinematic trends and achieving a much higher form of storytelling. A classic example of this occurs in Psycho when Norman spies on Marion as she undresses for her shower. The audience views Norman remove a painting from the wall, to reveal a convenient peephole. The camera then, quite literally becomes the extension of the eye of the viewer and character, as it focuses to a subjective shot, luring both into the deadly act of voyeurism. It is not until the sequence cuts to an extreme close up of Norman’s reaction, that the audience realises it has been placed in the viewpoint of the villain. Hitchcock deliberately uses this technique to blur the moral distinction between the innocent and the guilty. This is a fantastic move at crafting tension as it becomes an indictment of the viewer’s capacity for voyeurism and Norman’s own potential for depravity. From this unseemly action, the viewer is placed in a position in which they become personally engaged with the characters on screen. Moreover, Hitchcock evokes an emotional response from his viewers by the very act of
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