I was told that this is not a film one should watch alone. So I asked my mother who steered away from me and my sad bowl of burnt up popcorn (alas, I have not yet mastered the art of making microwave popcorn. Yes, I'm hopeless, I know) when she saw the name Alfred Hitchcock on the cover. I convinced my friend, a die-hard black and white hater to watch it with me. I should have known it was a mistake when she scowled at the screen and began singing Eminem. Despite all that, the movie was still mesmerising.
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is just an average lady. She has a boyfriend Sam whom she wishes to marry but can't because he is knee deep in debt so she does exactly what I usually do when someone (my mother) entrusts me with money. She borrows, (okay, maybe steals) $40,000 from her employer. Marion heads to Sam's town. On the way, due to the endless rain, she stops at a motel. The Bates Motel (cue horror music) is run by Norman, a rather strange man dominated by his overbearing mother.
If horror movies had an amma, this film would be it. Not only is the script brilliant, the score is perfect. It makes you cringe in your seat. And that's just the music. The acting is beautiful. Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins) is one of the creepiest characters ever. Even though his scenes make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention, he is strangely magnetic. You can't help but feel drawn to him. Perkins' best scene was when the detective was questioning him. I couldn't stop biting my nails. What amazed me was that he didn't even get nominated, let alone win, an Academy Award for his breathtaking performance. He deserved so much more.
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) was amazing as well. She would trigger a fine chemistry with whoever she was acting within any particular scene. She was fantastic and really blended in with Hitchcock's eerie setting. Of course she got an Oscar for the fantastic acting. I actually wanted to see Marion and Norman interact some more because they had such brilliant chemistry but I guess that would ruin the authenticity of the movie
There were other solid performances by other actors such as Sam (John Gavin) as the boyfriend, Lila Crane (Vera Miles) as the concerned sister (who looked so much like Marion that I once thought Marion had come back from the dead to haunt Norman and his "mother") and of course Arbogast (Martin Balsam), the private investigator.
It wouldn't be one of the most infamous movies in history if it weren't for one man. His name, my friends, is Alfred Hitchcock. His camerawork, the angles, the lighting were just mindblowing. He really is a genius. The film wasn't exactly horror, it was more of a thriller and it was in my opinion the most tasteful movie of the genre that I ever saw.
Just saying it's brilliant isn't doing any justice to this masterpiece. One has to really see it to understand. I give it a 10 out of 10. If you haven't seen it, then go and BUY now.
DEFINITELY MAY BE
By Alvi Ahmed
Let's face it people, the music industry is dead. These days music is categorised into three parts.
1) Anything sung by Lady Gaga (critics are saying that her upcoming album will be the greatest music act of the past decade).
2) Every time Taylor Swift gets her heart broken by a boy and decides to write a song about it and people buy her records out of sympathy.
3) Coldplay CDs which possess the magical powers that can turn men into boys and boys into Justin Bieber fans. So in this article we talk about, or rather dream about, the albums we wish we had but may never get to see:
1) Guns and Roses (with Slash): Chinese Democracy was a bigger failure than Liverpool this season. What we want is just one last album by the best glam rock/metal band that ever existed. But no. Apparently being a rock star means either overdosing on narcotics or pissing away your fame, fortune and talent as soon as you reach the peak of your career and then go solo. Slash did both and so we will never get to hear one of his sinfully beautiful guitar solos or Axel Rose's unconventional but amazing vocals together on the same song.
2) Nirvana: What can we say about this particular band? They were just your average three man band that revolutionised an entire generation and came up with a genre of their own. We all know why we can't have another Nirvana album, because, you know, Kurt killed himself. But on a positive note Foo Fighters (a rock band formed by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl) are coming out with a new album this year.
3) Rage Against The Machine: They were probably the only band on earth that successfully merged the flavours of Rap and Rock together and stayed true to their genre of rapcore. But Rage was not only about the music, they actually stood up against everything they believed was wrong and also got into some serious trouble doing so. Just google them if you want to know more. Plus the band gave us one of the most creative and unique musician ever: Tom Morello. Sadly the band broke up almost a decade ago, but they did a reunion concert in 2007. So hopefully somewhere in the distant future we may just stumble across a Rage Against The Machine album.
4) Red Hot Chili Peppers: People love Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even thought almost all their hit songs have the same feel, it doesn't really matter. It's like having chocolate cake every day. You just keep wanting more, unless of course your cholesterol level increases significantly. After their guitarist left the band to work on his crappy solo album, we said good bye to the feel-good band of our generation. However recently there are rumours that the band is getting back together. But nothing is official yet.
What defines a classic? When we think about classic films what pops into mind are those black and white films with actors who are long gone. Classics are, to us, relics of those olden days of cinema. Classics are mostly from that period, because those stories, scripts and acting gave a lot of films from 1910 to 1960 a sense of timeless renown that made them simply impossible to forget. Classics are the movies that you can watch countless times with hundreds of different people and everyone will get something unique from the experience. They are the best representations of their time. And there are some classics that everyone should see, and you aren't supposed to die before watching them.
Modern Times (1936):
Genre: Comedy/ Romance
Modern Times is the last silent film that Charlie Chaplin made, in a time when the tide was against it. This surreal, hilarious, touching movie is a true timeless classic that reflects the best work of the genius. It is a film that turned against the modern society and the industrial age. Along the line it ridicules bureaucracy and shows how the 'little men' gets caught up in the society's complexity. It shows how little the modern society values those individuals and how hard they have to fight for survival. City Lights is also another classic by Chaplin.
It's A Wonderful Life (1946):
Genre: Fantasy/ Romance
There are some classics which live on to change peoples' lives. It's A Wonderful Life is certainly the best among them. The movie is about a small town dreamer George Bailey who works hard to change peoples' lives and what the world would've been if he had never existed. People think of it now as a good Christmas movie; but this is more than that. This one is a work of pure brilliance that is sure to leave you touched and wondering about your life.
Some Like it Hot (1959):
Genre: Comedy/ Romance
This is one of the funniest films that you'll ever come across. Set in 1929, this is about two penniless musicians who dress up as females to join an all female band to run away from a Mafia gang. In the band they meet Sugar Kane (played by Marilyn Monroe), who is a beautiful but slow ukulele player. This movie is hilarious right from the beginning and doesn't let you down for a single moment. You'll also marvel at the brilliant mix of comedy, drama, romance and fighting.
Rear Window (1959):
Rear window is among the most memorable works of Alfred Hitchcock, full of his trademark suspense and mystery. Jeff Jeffaries, a photographer who broke his leg and is wheelchair bound, watches his neighbours with a pair of binoculars all day. He becomes certain that one of his neighbours has a nasty secret and starts investigating. The whole movie is set in a room but never feels claustrophobic. Great acting, superb direction and the suspense from the master make this an unforgettable experience.
Psycho is perhaps the most famous horror movie in history. The iconic scenes of this movie have been copied and parodied hundreds of times, and the movie is often talked about, even today. Marion Crane, an office worker frustrated with her life decides to run off with her boss's $40,000 but falls into the hands of Norman Bates, a psychotic killer. What makes it timeless is the fact that it can scare you even fifty years after it got released. There is hardly any blood and gore and the movie's black and white colours mute the bit that is there, but this movie doesn't need any.
Singin' in the Rain (1952):
Not everyone is a fan of musicals. But not every musical is Singin' in the Rain. It is set in 1927, when all the movies were turning into talkies from silent films and how the actors made the transition. Excellent music numbers are another reason for watching this movie. Don't mistake this for just a great musical, this is a great movie.
12 Angry Men (1957):
You don't need special effects and car chases in a movie to make you sit on the edge of your seat. Mystery and suspense told nicely can do just that. 12 Angry Men is a courtroom drama that brings together 12 jurors who have never seen each other in their lives to sit and decide whether the convict really killed his father or not. This movie is way ahead of its time and shows pure class all the way.
It's not like there aren't classics made today, but the ones we featured are time proven and most certainly fit the must-see category.