Archive for July, 2013

CINECITY NEWS: Psycho

The library’s weekly film club, CineCity will continue in Term 3, with screenings every Monday and Wednesday at lunchtime in the Cinema. We’ll start off on Wednesday 31st July with PSYCHO, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic suspense thriller. Any students who wish to participate need to see Daniel in the library to sign up.

psycho_

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast:  Anthony Perkins

Vera Miles

John Gavin

Janet Leigh

Written by:    Joseph Stefano (screenplay)

Robert Bloch (novel)

Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Horror

Rating: M

Duration: 109 min

Colour: Black and White

Country/Language: USA / English

Budget: $806,947 (estimated)

Year of Release: 1960

Production / Distribution Company: Shameley Productions / Paramount Pictures

Background notes:

  • Psycho probably isn’t his best or most sophisticated film but it is one of his most popular and successful. It’s been described as the mother of the modern horror movie.

Things to think about:

  • Dramatic irony is created when an audience knows more about events than the characters in a film and can anticipate what is about to happen. Irony can also occur when something acquires a greater significance on second hearing or seeing because it seems to hint at what is going to occur later on. Think about how dramatic irony occurs in Psycho. Can you recall any dialogue in the film that creates dramatic irony?
  • In narrative film a motif is a recurring element that has symbolic meaning in a story. One of the most significant motifs in Psycho concerns the theme of doubleness and centres on mirror images. Take note of the scenes in which mirrors appear. What do you think the characters are thinking, planning or pretending to be in these scenes?
  • How is repetition used to build suspense?

The Catcher in the Rye published 62 years ago today.

JD_SalingerOn this day (16th July) in 1951 the book, The Catcher in the Rye was first published. Its author, J.D. Salinger said in an interview that it was “sort of” autobiographical. The novel is narrated by the central character of 17 year old Holden Caulfield, who is expelled from his elite private school and spends two days wandering around New York. The writing style makes it feel as though Holden is actually talking to you and this style as well as the character of the disillusioned teenager was rather new at the time though it has since become quite a familar trope.

The book has recieved both critical acclaim and condemnation. It has been banned many times for its use of profanities, blasphemy and for discussing sex and prostitution. It has been likened to Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn. 

Salinger became disenchanted with the fame that Catcher brought and moved from New York to Cornish, New Hampshire in 1953 in an attempt to withdraw from the limelight. He continued to write regularly and published some short stories and novellas but never published another novel. His other stories include, Franny and Zooey, Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters and For Esmé – with Love and Squalor and Other Stories.

We have some of Salinger’s work available in the library including The Catcher in the Rye. Have a look at what the First Tuesday Book Club panelists thought of the book HERE.