American Psycho (look, analyze, listen)

I remember watching this movie for the first time when I was 13. Unfortunately my grandma just passed away. My big sister, brother and I got to stay home all week from school. I remember going to the video store to get some movies to kill the time during the day. Of course I mourned and was sad that my favorite women passed away, but I also remember my brother and I scheming at the video store to weasel our dad into letting us get American Psycho. My parents never let us rent R rated movies. But when we gave my dad (who just lost his mother) the movie to pay for, I remember him looking at us. He was hurting and he knew we were as well. He paid for it without ever saying a word, he just gave us that look that parents give their kids sometimes, the white flag look. So after watching it I was forever skeptical of bakers and stock traders. Still am. I thought it was a great movie then, pretty messed up, and well put together. But as a 13 year old kid the impression it left on me was that of  “never trust a banker/hedge fund manager/wall street trader” etc., because they are crazy, drug using, psychos.

OK, now that I got that out of the way here is a quick write up on it.

Viewing on silent: There are many examples of the rule of thirds shot in this scene. Patrick is shown on the right and center much more than on the left. Meaning, that the director possibly wants the viewer to look at him favorably up until this point in the film. When Patrick kills Paul, the director leaves the camera on Patrick’s face, while blood is spatting  up on it. This leaves the viewer to mentally imagine what is taking place below the shot.

Viewing blind: The scene comes off as a basic conversation, pace is normal, and tones are average. As Patrick pumps himself up to perform his massacre, his voice starts to change. Then he plays “Hip to be a Square” on high (volume). The killing and screaming is synced with the verse of the song. The chorus, comes in when he is done with the murder.

Putting it all together: In my opinion none of the visuals go hand in hand with the conversation and music. It’s just such an odd sequence of events, un-expected for the first time viewer, and kind of illogical. But that is the whole premise of the film. It does not make sense that a seemingly normal man would be so neurologically in-balanced.

 

LJ

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