In conclusion…

Post 5

            In summary, although linguistics are important in the study and analysis of film, cinema has a language of its own, a “semiotic system” made up of distinct “articulations” (Chatman 473).  Chatman discusses in detail the “multiplexity” of the cinematic narrator.  He creates a diagram that illustrates the various transformations and channels that are created by both auditory and visual input (Chatman 483).  The logic is that the viewer takes all the information that floods his senses; words, flashes of light and sound, and creates meaning and message with the assistance of directorial command and focalization of the camera lens.  The camera’s “look” creates the narrator and, logically, that would make the spectator the narrator (Chatman 474).  The viewer is not a “passive object ‘positioned’ by what happens on the screen but an active participant who creates the film’s narration” therefore interpreting the story and deciphering the embedded message (Chatman 474).  Although the audience is an active “agent” in film narration, the director manipulates viewer response by “constructing” a “cause-and-effect chain of events” that lead the spectator in a particular direction and pushes him to reach conclusions that typically reinforce, promote and support ideology that is dictated by symbolic order (Chatman 474-75).

             In order to comprehend and decipher the underlying purpose and message of Hitchcock’s cinematic narrator in Psycho and The Lodger, it is important to combine Chatman’s work on cinematic narration with that of another theorist.  Laura Mulvey views her article “Visual Pleasure” as a “political weapon” that incorporates both psychoanalytical and feminist theory in an effort to support her argument that film promotes and reinforces a patriarchal society (Mulvey 6).  She focuses on the “male-gaze” and the obsession with visual pleasure derived from the female form.  She writes that the female is objectified by the male gaze and reduced to little more than a possession that satisfies male desire.  Mulvey focuses on the “image of woman” and the implications that arise due to the extensive range of Hollywood’s influence (Mulvey 7).  Hollywood’s influence extends beyond the borders of the United States and North America.  Movies like those produced by Hitchcock are translated into numerous languages and distributed around the world.  The United States is viewed as the foundation of modern, capitalistic and democratic society and publics around the world fashion their doctrines on the examples presented by them.  Mulvey discusses Freud’s work on scopophilia, translated as “the love of looking,” stating that it is a “perversion” that produces “obsessive voyeurs” and “peeping Toms” and implies that “scopophilia” dominates the production of film (Mulvey 7-8).

            Although Psycho and The Lodger are separated by thirty three years, they present the message that a patriarchal society is still prevalent and that women are merely objects to fulfill male desire.  On the other hand, Hitchcock also displays the plight of those afflicted by mental illness and poverty seeking to raise awareness and social conscience in an effort to improve health care and create a system that cares for and assists the destitute.

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