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October 1996, Week 4


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susan crutchfield <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 15:28:13 -0400
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A couple things:
One recent post mentioned Psycho's black and white photography as an
economic strategy for a story that would be "iffy" at the box office.  But
I wonder how much the films' color differences-- one in b/w and one
in wonderful, evocative (and a lot of red) color--had to do with their
different receptions.  Is it too essentializing to suggest that the b/w
allowed even more audience distanciation from the violent and
perverse events?  Remember--Psycho actually "shows" a slashing scene, but
Peeping Tom only suggests the slashing--until Mark does himself in.
On Peeping Tom veering away from the subject matter of Powell's other
films:  I haven't watched many of Powell's films, but I'm struck by the
similarities (granted, they aren't on the surface) of Peeping Tom with,
say The Red Shoes:  the lengths to which one is willing to go for "art",
the masochistic relationship of the artist to the art work, the
exploration of behind-the-scenes machinations (in the ballet troupe and
the cinema studio), etc. Am I going too far?  Maybe.
Susan Crutchfield
University of Michigan
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