Magazine article Filmmaker

Psycho

Magazine article Filmmaker

Psycho

Article excerpt

When Gus Van Sant announced that he was remaking Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho in 1998, it seemed to most observers like an extremely peculiar choice at best and a blatant cash grab at worst. In fact, the film fit perfectly within Van Sant's filmography, synthesizing his two sides - the experimenter of Gerry and Last Days and the Hollywood craftsman of To Die For and Finding Forrester - in one singular movie. It's the kind of exercise Van Sant had grown interested in while attending art school: a sort of "cover version" of a classic film in which nearly complete fidelity to the text and shot structure of the original work collides with stark differences (color rather than blackand-white, an entirely new cast) that raise fascinating questions about film art and style. Although Van Sant almost slavishly copies several of Hitchcock's most iconic compositions and cutting patterns, his film is no mere copy; he has to rethink it from the ground up in order to make the new elements, particularly his palette and stereo sound, serve the original intent of the material in harmony with everything that's lifted from the 1960 picture. …

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