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The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murderby David Thomson
Synopses & Reviews
It was made like a television movie, and completed in less than three months. It killed off its star in forty minutes. There was no happy ending. And it offered the most violent scene to date in American film, punctuated by shrieking strings that seared the national consciousness. Nothing like Psycho had existed before; the movie industry—even America itself—would never be the same.
In The Moment of Psycho, film critic David Thomson situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock’s career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that Psycho was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of our desires. Sex, violence, and horror took on new life. Psycho, all of a sudden, represented all America wanted from a film—and, as Thomson brilliantly demonstrates, still does.
Book News Annotation:
San Francisco-based Thomson is the author of many books on film and a regular contributor of film commentary and criticism to the New York Times, Film Comment, The New Republic, Salon, and the Guardian (UK). Some 50 years after the premiere of Hitchcock's groundbreaking film, Thomson analyzes Psycho within the context of the time when it was created, and how it opened up a taste for sex, violence, and horror that continues in American cinema--and other cultural productions--today. The text includes a chapter on Psycho's film legacy assessing 28 films produced between 1962 and 2009, ranging from Dr. No and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? to Blow-Up (1966), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Frenzy (1972), Halloween (1978), Fatal Attraction (1987), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Pulp Fiction. For students, scholars, critics, and fans of cinema. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Renowned film critic David Thomson plumbs the horror and inspiration of Alfred Hitchcocks greatest film.
Film critic Thomson situates "Psycho" in Alfred Hitchcock's career, recreating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide. Thomson shows that "Psycho" was not just a sensation in film: it altered the very nature of film.
About the Author
English-American writer David Thomson is the author of many books on film, including Have You Seen...?” A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films, which the New York Times called, passionate, illuminating, rich, and eccentric”; and the massively influential Biographical Dictionary of Film called the best book on the movies ever written in English” (The New Republic). He lives in San Francisco with his family.
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