God Sees All… And So Do We

POWERS OF TEN (or better, COSMIC ZOOM) as remade by Hitchcock… with a small assist by me.
Hitchcock’s overhead shots have a particular function. They certainly act as storytelling shots, with Hitchcock the Master explaining the set-up to us. But they also fit into his world of subjective camera effects: the POV in question being that of God.
But if the above observation seems trite or familiar, please entertain yourselves by identifying all of the films sampled above…
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10 Responses to “God Sees All… And So Do We”

  1. And, seen from above, we’re all bugs. Or, in the context of Hitchcock, cattle.

  2. I guess Saul Bass thinks the same way…didn’t he stage the shower scene?

  3. Bass’s contribution is disputed — he certainly drew the storyboards, but one imagines Hitch supervized. And Bass’s claim to have directed the scene has not been verified by anyone else: if he was directing, Janet Leigh didn’t notice. Hitch did grudgingly admit he let Bass direct part of Martin Balsam’s murder, but claims he had to reshoot part of it.

  4. Here’s something Bass actually directed — and it’s not at all like Psycho

  5. It’s a GREAT sequence, thanks to Bass and Mr Bernstein. Apart from the kitty cruelty at the end.

  6. As per Bill Krohn, Bass didn’t do any actual directing. What he did was the title sequence and storyboards for the two murder scenes. Hitchcock in his interview with Truffaut said that Bass just did the Arbogast staircase murder storyboards and nothing else, when in fact Bass did storyboards for the shower scene as well.

    So Bass saying he directed the scene was getting back for legitimate grievance at Hitchcock for denying him his due in the film’s great set piece. When he made the claim, he sent his storyboards to a magazine as “evidence”.

  7. That makes sense. Hitch does have a tendency to take credit for every damn thing in his interviews, although he does at least admit to mistakes (even though he’s sometimes wrong about them, ie the bomb in Sabotage).

  8. chuckv4 Says:

    Funny thing, before you suggested it, I’d already had a go at identifying the various shots.

    Fairly certain about most of them, but have some doubts about others. #2 is 39 Steps, presumably? #7 is Foreign Correspondent, maybe? #8 Torn Curtain? #12 is a real puzzler, Murder? Strangers on a train?

  9. Gary Meyer Says:

    Not to forget this one and several other shots from above the—-

    Incidentally Norman Lloyd from this film is supposed to be doing a masterclass in Cannes this week.

    As much of a fan of the Eames as I a, I agree that COSMIC ZOOM is the more interesting and entertaining version of the concept.

  10. Those FX shots in Saboteur are staggering. Of course Hitch was right that he put the wrong man in danger. North By Northwest supplies the solution: have the hero dangle, but the villain fall.

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