Watch: Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ Is All About Power Struggles and Blocking
Any good story ultimately involves a power struggle of some sort, whether it be between two characters or between a character and his or her own mind. Character X wants something Character Y has: since the story of Cain and Abel, this is the most basic plot vector there is. In the scene from Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ shrewdly and economically analyzed here by YouTube’s Evan Puschak, aka ‘The NerdWriter," Gavin Elster wants Scottie Ferguson to take his questionable case very much, but Scottie is reluctant. The conversation we witness between the two of them is all about power: who has it, who wants it, who takes it away, how it can float between two individuals like a cloud. And that power play is show through blocking, though the way the two men occupy the space they share: who stands. Who sits. Who’s in the foreground. Who takes up more screen territory. If you turned the sound off on this scene, you’d be able to tell what was happening with only the slightest bit of extrapolation. And that is the nature of true drama, as we see it on film.
Watch: Alfred Hitchcock’s Editing Mastery in the ‘Psycho’ Shower Scene
While it’s perfectly conceivable that someone might create a scene with as much tension and suspense as the famous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho,’ there’s a level of panic to the scene that would be hard to match, created primarily with Hitchcock’s cuts, the swoops he makes from one perspective to another, the shifts, the disjunctures. This video essay by "Love of Film" shows us Hitch’s cuts, arranged in a nice, boxlike organization, which actually makes the method and strategy employed here quite clear, from the start of the shower to the screaming from the Bates house. Take a look…
Watch: What Props Do for The Films in Which They Appear, and Vice Versa
Can the heart of a film be its props? The light saber. The movie camera. The gun. The tape deck. These are all things we see as we watch our Spielberg, our Andersons, our Hitchcocks, our Godards, and yet we somehow view them as incidental. Rishi Kaneria argues, with this new video essay, that they are essential. He has set himself a difficult exercise here and exceeded its limits, taking us through the use of seemingly incidental items from the beginnings of film to its most recent developments.