Sunday, 23 January 2011


What is intertextuality ?

Some post modern films are inspired by classic movies hence they restyle famous scenes, to show their inspiration, respect and keep the traditional convention, this is intertextuality.     
Intertextuality found within parodies, mash up videos, trailers and films.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock(1899-1980) a legendary director and producer. Hitchcock discovered many suspense techniques, within psychological thrillers, these techniques are imitated today (intertextuality). His most famous scene is the shower scene in ‘Psycho’, this scene has been endlessly borrowed in thrillers since. In class we were shown a few thriller clips which used intertextuality, we had to identify where it had been used and the effect it created. I’ll be showing you a few of the clips and identify when they use intextuality, all clips have borrowed asspects from this well-known movie.

(Psycho 1960 Alfred Hitchcock)


What lies beneath (2001)

‘What lies beneath’ is a supernatural thriller staring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. ‘What lies beneath’ presents the women as vulnerable,she is dressed in the virginal colour white, wearing only a dressing gown. This representation of a women in  thrillers originated from ‘Pyscho’. The lady in 'Psycho' is presented feebly also wearing a dressing gown and then later stripping leaving her bare and powerless. The fact the man is phyically holding her presents her in a lower posistion, sticking to the 'Pyscho' tradition of women being the victims in thrillers.
In ‘What lies beneath’ the setting is a replica of ‘Psycho’ as it is in a bathroom, sharing similar details such as the big shower head, the see-through shower curtains and the detached bath tub.This is a form on intertextuality and the audience see this and may recognise it from ‘Psycho’. Recognition leaves the audience in suspense, because they are aware of how the scene ‘Psycho’ ended hence they’ll suspect the same.
Camera shots are borrowed from ‘Psycho’ such as the camera focusing on the women’s eyes, and the shower, from these subtle shots the audience can also identify ‘Psycho’ is an inspiration to the production of this film.

Student film Succubus (2010)

Succubus  is a student movie inspired by ‘Psycho’, this includes intertextuality, mainly through setting and camera shots. The setting is in a bathroom and a shot of the character showering is shown, this is also in ‘Psycho’. The camera focuses in on the shower head and the blood on the victims feet these are two known features ‘Psycho’ uses. The man is attacked by the same weapon used in ‘Psycho’ yet there’s a modern twist, the roles are reversed the man is being attack by a female, the typical tradition of the girl being vulnerable is broken, although the roles are reversed it’s clear this scene is inspired by Hitchcock’s famous scene. In this clip I identified the use of intertextuality within the audio, whilst the man is being attacked similar if not the exact music from ‘Psychos’ stabbing scene is being used.  

I've shared two examples of intextuality inspired from 'Pyscho'. These two clips interested me because they're both inspired by 'Pyscho' yet they have borrowed different details, this shows intertextuality doesn't have to be a direct copy, it can just include subtle attributes of a scene. 'Succubus' is a mordern twist reversing roles, manages to show it's influence cleary wheras 'What Lies Beneath' keeps the traditional roles, and includes intextuality by acting and setting. The fact intextuality can be subtle, intrigues me yet when it is noticeable, it can give you an insight to the rest of the narrative, it shows inspiration and knowledge of film and most importantly in this case keeps the conventions such as music, which hightens suspense making a good thriller. 

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