Innovative London screening pits Hitchcock’s 1960s Psycho against the 1998 remake…
Director Gus Van Sant was met with howls of derision upon the release of 1998’s Psycho, his shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary 1960 thriller. With only a couple of minor changes to the original (to make some scenes more explicit and to bring some of the topical references up-to-date), many critics were left asking – why?
Roger Ebert dismissed Van Sant’s film as “an attempt to re-create remembered passion… it demonstrates that a shot-by-shot remake is pointless; genius apparently resides between or beneath the shots, or in chemistry that cannot be timed or counted”.
However, other critics argued that the original film’s basics were so strong that the remake remains a powerful work in and of itself, with the New York Times claiming the 1998 film “remains the most structurally elegant and sneakily playful of thrillers… at least some things never change”.
Taking advantage of the unique screening arrangements of the Leicester Square Theatre, for the first time ever Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho will be shown simultaneously with Van Sant’s 1998 remake.
Hitchcock’s film will be shown on the main screen and his soundtrack will play, while Van Sant’s film will be shown on four smaller screens in the same room.
“This fascinating experiment provides a unique insight into the nature of directorial technique and the role of actors’ interpretation, while asking the question: can a story be told exactly the same way twice?” said Josh Saco from Cigarette Burns, which is behind the screening.
In fight terms this is the big one. It’s Hitchcock vs Van Sant. Anthony Perkins vs Vince Vaughn. Janet Leigh vs Anne Heche. Five screens, two films, one Motel.
Psycho Vs Psycho plays for one night only at The Leicester Square Theatre on Thursday 25 October, 2012. Tickets for that screening and for other films in the 13th Hour Horror Festival can be found here.