The shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is broken down and analyzed in 78/52. Created with 78 set-ups and 52 shots, the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has become one of the most iconic sequences of film history. With its use of quick cuts and suggested nudity and violence, the scene broke many taboos from the time. Multiple individuals, ranging from editor Walter Murch to Elijah Wood, watch the shower scene and break down the individual moments that make it so iconic.
Director Alexandre O. Philippe (Doc of the Dead) has created a feature length homage to the shower scene of Psycho. This scene can be read in multiple ways, whether representing the female body under assault, punishment for misdeeds, or just plain old voyeurism. The film is built around interviews with a large group of filmmakers and experts, including Janet Leigh body double Marli Renfro, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, and composer Danny Elfman, who recreated Bernard Herrmann iconic music for Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho.
As someone with a degree in film studies, who has written a number of sequence analysis essays, 78/52 is definitely a very enthralling look at the level of detail Alfred Hitchcock spent on creating the shower scene in Psycho. From foreshadowing the scene throughout the first act to choosing a very specific painting for the wall, every aspect of this sequence is broken down an analyzed. Some of the talking head, such as Walter Murch and Guillermo del Toro, makes some quite great observations, while others like Elijah Wood are just being very geeky and gushing over certain shots. Altogether, 78/52 is a must watch for all film geeks.