Monday, June 22, 2009

Announcing the Hulu Award for "Best Clip (non-comedy)"

And the Hulie goes to....

Psycho's Shower Scene!

When you consider the thousands upon thousands of clips populating Hulu, it seems fitting that an iconic classic is what cuts through all the background noise to grip us. Here it is in all its black and white glory:

It's rare that a horror film asks us to dwell for so long on the aftermath of a murder. Usually, when we see a victim who has been mortally stabbed, it's because that victim is about to do something amazingly heroic. Here, Janet Leigh simply dies. We're invited to think about the way that the heart stops beating, the eyes glaze over, and whatever makes up one's life essence dissipates into the great beyond. Janet Leigh was the main character in the film; now she's gone.

Before you take a gander at the same scene in the 1998 Psycho remake, here are a few interesting tidbits about the original 1960 shower scene:
1. Even though the scene reeks of blood, gore, and violence, there are actually only three brief frames showing any type of penetration, and these show only minor cuts to Janet's stomach.
2. The blood is chocolate syrup, while the sound of the knife was created by stabbing a melon
3. Depending on which reference you believe, there are 50 cuts, and 71 or 78 angles in the three minute scene. This creates a very modern-feeling MTV effect.

After 20,000 audience votes, the Audience Favorite was

Obama's Inauguration

Obama's level of success in office will certainly determine whether this is a seminal moment in world history, or just another entry in the long list of presidential disappointments, but for now, at least, Hulu viewers have faith.

The other nominees were

My Cousin Vinny: "Expert Witness" NBC News Time Capsule: "Martin Luther King Speech" Scarface: "Say Hello to My Little Friend" Field of Dreams: "Ray and His Dad Play Catch" The Usual Suspects: "Interrogation"

You can see all of the nominated clips in their entirety

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