Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Intertexuality refers to the visual referencing between films. Films borrow different features and ideas from each other. Camera angles, Mise en scene, sound are similar in many films. Comparisons in films allow us to anticipate what might happen because we have seen something similar in another film but also build interest and follow trends in films.

The 'PSYCHO' is a thriller film which has had an influence on other thrillers. In the sense that other films borrow some ideas and techniques that are also used in 'PSYCHO'. For example in 'PSYCHO' a woman is the victim of an attack; this idea is all implemented in films such as 'The Stepfather', 'What lies Beneath' and 'Fatal Attraction'.

Firstly the 'PSYCHO' is about a psychological thriller. 'Fatal Attraction' is a thriller too and 'borrows' some techniques used in ‘PSYCHO’. Firstly in both films a female blonde haired actress is the victim of an attack. This implies that women are vulnerable and the stereotype type of a blonde glamorous is used. ‘Fatal Attraction’ also uses techniques from ‘PSYCHO’ in terms on Mise en scene. In both films a shiny knife is used. This could be used as a thriller convention as we expect to see a shiny knife in many thrillers because other thrillers have used this prop. Moreover the scenery in both films is closely linked, a white background is applied. This could be used to show a connection between the films and almost warn us about future danger, as in these white backgrounds an attack occurs. Also white has connotations with purity and truth, which raises questions to why the women are attacked. Furthermore sound is similar, the use of the tap running and water making a noise adds to belief that death is near, because in ‘PSYCHO’ the woman is attacked in the shower and in ‘Fatal Attraction’ the woman seeks water in order to survive after being chocked.
Lastly a narrative convention used in both films in terms of gender, a man is the attacker; this could be used to apply stereotypical beliefs that women are inferior to men or to show that men are more aggressive and violent. This convention could be used to help us predict what will happen later in the film as we can make comparisons with other thrillers which use a similar technique.
In terms of camera movement one long shot that zoomed in then out is used in both films, in ‘PSYCHO’ the women is attacked then she slides to the surface of the bath tub and the camera gentle zooms out bringing an end to the scene and also an end to her life. In ‘Fatal Attraction’ the same technique of camera movement is used. After the woman is attacked she leans against the wall and is clearly beaten by her attacker and has been other powered, as the attacker leaves we see a close up of her which too gentle zooms out bringing an end to the scene. 
I think the use of intertexuality is useful as it can be used to show the audience what might happen and allows them to build comparisons. As shown in ‘PSYCHO’ and ‘Fatal Attraction’ the conventions and referencing between films can be used to good effect in helping us anticipate what might happen.

Shower Scene from 'Psycho'


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