Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Intertextuality In films (Research)

Intertextuality - is a term which is used to describe visual referencing between films. In other words , it is when films makers  “borrow”  or use certain aspects  from  other films without plagourising  for example  either camera angles or aspects of mise en scene or certain editing techniqes.  A significant film for directors to borrow methods from without copying it  Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Bathroom scene from Fatall Attraction
One  example of a film which is influenced by Psycho to create a suspenseful scene without directly imitating Psycho is a scene in Fatal Attraction.During this scene the similarity is immediately  apparent . The two films both have males taking on the more masculine ,more powerful role who is intending to intimidate or harm the female who is portrayed as being not as strong. Also the mise en scene is similiar to Psycho .They used the famous shower scene, although in contrast , in Fatal Attraction the  woman featured doesn’t actually die in the bathroom.The bathroom is not where the violence and death scene is taken place , however it is  present in order to create suspense as she falls on the floor and we begin to think he will catch her. Furthermore, the various close ups of the woman as she’s on the bathroom floor is similar to the close up of the woman in the shower in Psycho due to the  the close up itself. The costumes used are similar in both films , both women are in dressing gowns.This creates suspense, as dressing gowns have connotations of privacy , alone time , sleep etc  and having a man corrupt and disturb  that creates panic ,drama and concern  as it’s not the way it should be.

 In our media lesson we  watched an iconic scene from the movie "Psycho" then we decided which scenes were borrowed from it on three other clips. What lies beneath, Fatal attraction & The stepfather. In what lies beneath they used the bathroom scene as there borrowed scene as there use of intertextuality. In fatal attraction a man and a woman are fighting  then she attempts to attack him with a knife.This is borrowed from psycho due to the usage of the bathroom and the knife and also the camera shots and diagetic sounds of the screaming woman. In  stepfather a man does an usual routine i'e shaving , washing face and hand whichput the audience in a  sense of security, the psycho homage is the camera angles that are very well captured with CU and ECU of the character being shown.

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