June 24, 2013

Monday Madness: A Few Thoughts on PSYCHO

I just finished watching the movie HITCHCOCK about the making of the classic horror movie PSYCHO. I've been anxious to see this one because I've seen PSYCHO probably as many times as I've seen PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. That's a lot of times.

Have you seen HITCHCOCK?


I love the scene when Hitch tells his wife that PSYCHO is "stillborn." After mortgaging the house to make a film Paramount executives are not impressed with and will not promote, Hitch apologizes to his wife, Alma Reville, for failing. Since Alma wants to keep the house, she refuses to let her husband be "maudlin" and says they'd better "whip PSYCHO into shape." Anyone who's seen PSYCHO knows how the story ends: Not stillborn.

HITCHCOCK impressed me with these four ideas:
  1. I'm glad I'm not married to a man obsessed with murder. 
  2. When my creative work seems lifeless, someone else may have the power to revive it, if I have the humility to listen and the grit to keep working.
  3. It seems some of the world's greatest creative feats teetered on the precipice of major failure.
  4. I'm glad my creative defeats aren't going to lose me my house. (Because I don't have one.) 
Alma Reville must have been in on a little secret YA author Kimberley Heuston spoke of in a podcast a few years ago when talking about teaching young people to write. She said:
Creating is hard work. . . . Young people don't always have the trust that simply working at something that feels dead and artificial [can] over time [make it] come to life.
I've seen the process work so well for so many others, I have to believe it will work for me.

How about you? Do you like PSYCHO? Any other films I should add to my library queue about creative masters at work?

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