On October 25th, 2012, Cigarette Burns Cinema hosts a unique screening that no cineaste should miss – PSYCHO VS PSYCHO.
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 PSYCHO. 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 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. 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? Find out with us in October, while watching one of the best thrillers ever made on the big screen!
The evening will be introduced by Anton Bitel, a freelance film critic and occasional Classicist. He writes regularly for Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, movieScope, Film4 and EyeforFilm, and specialises in horror and Asian cinema. Bitel is a member of the Online Film Critics Society and the London Film Critics’ Circle.
Tickets to Psycho vs Psycho can be purchased here