Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Femininity
I think there are a lot of close-ups of Janet Leigh in the film because she is the central character until her death, and because she is the attractive lead. Hitchcock objectifies her through his focus on her, and filming her nude in the shower. She is murdered. In the shower she cannot really defend herself because she is naked and vulnerable. Hitchcock also doesn’t give her a fighting chance in the shower, because Marion does not put up much of a fight before falling face-down down dead. He also subverts the stereotype of women because Marion is brave and dangerous enough to steal money from her employer. She makes a getaway and tries to outsmart the cops by purchasing a different car, all to a soundtrack that creates a feeling anxiety and foreboding. The problem with the treatment of women aside from the objectification is that no woman comes out of this story in a favorable position, it is like they are punished for trying to be independent and do things their own way. Norman’s mother (who finds a new man after her husband is gone) is murdered and found as a skeletal corpse, Marion who commits a crime is murdered, Lila, Marion’s sister gets away pretty easily but, nearly dies herself at the hands of Norman and is rescued by Sam, a man, and finally, Norman’s alter-ego “Mother” surfaces as an irrational murdering, jealous psychopath.