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Psycho Shower Scene

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La scène de la douche dans Psychose d’Alfred Hitchcock

La scène de la douche que je présente aujourd’hui est extraite du film « Psychose » ou « Psycho » en version originale et est considérée comme l’une des plus célèbres séquences du cinéma. Ce film, réalisé par Alfred Hitchcock en 1960, est certainement le film d’horreur qui a le plus influencé l’histoire du cinéma. En effet, le dénouement était aussi inattendu qu’effrayant.
Alfred Hitchcock était un réalisateur anglais qui s’est installé aux Etats-Unis en 1940. Il fut le seul à croire en l’adaptation au cinéma du livre de Robert Bloch et pour cela il prit des risques : il choisit des acteurs inconnus à l’époque (Janet Leigh et Anthony Perkins), il tourna en noir et blanc (alors que le premier film en couleur datait de 1922), avec un petit budget, il fit disparaitre l’héroïne dès le premier tiers du film, mais surtout il osa tourner un film violent avec un meurtre sanglant.

Le film, qui dure 1h49, commence sur une scène entre deux amants dans une chambre. La femme, Marion est en sous-vêtements, ce qui présentait encore un risque à l’époque car les règles de censure étaient très strictes. Marion n’est pas heureuse, elle souhaiterait vivre son amour au grand jour, si seulement ils avaient de l’argent… Puis Marion, qui est secrétaire, se voit confier la tâche d’aller déposer une grosse somme d’argent à la banque pour son patron. Elle rentre chez elle, fait ses valises, et quitte la ville en voiture avec l’argent. Après deux jours sur la route, elle s’arrête pour la nuit dans un motel. Elle est accueillie par un jeune homme, Norman Bates qui habite dans une étrange maison juste à côté du motel. Marion l’entend parler à sa vieille mère. Puis elle part dans sa chambre. Elle est la seule cliente du motel.

La séquence commence après trois quarts d'heure de film et dure moins de cinq minutes.
Dès l'entrée du personnage dans la salle de bains, le spectateur peut découvrir la cuvette dans laquelle l'héroïne jette un papier déchiré avant d'actionner la chasse d'eau. Cette vue de la cuvette et de l'eau qui tourbillonne lance l'engrenage que le personnage de Marion Crane ne peut encore deviner et auquel elle ne pourra échapper.
Cette séquence dite « scène de la douche » est le point culminant du film. La victime n’est pas consciente de la menace. Elle est poignardée plusieurs fois avec un long couteau pointu. Le spectateur ne voit qu’une ombre.

VISIONNAGE DE LA SCENE

Notons tout d’abord que la bande son du film, connue pour les ‘violons criants’ ajoute encore un peu plus d’horreur aux images.
La musique de Bernard Herrmann lors de la séquence d'ouverture n'a nécessité l'utilisation que d'instruments à cordes, dont les sonorités stridentes sur un tempo rapide amplifiait l'angoisse du spectateur.
Le point culminant de cette angoisse musicale reste la sonorité répétée lorsque Marion Crane est poignardée dans sa douche, partition musicale qui reste la référence de l'horreur au cinéma, et réutilisée à l'infini depuis.
Même si le montage nous donne l'impression d'une scène tournée en temps réel, il n'en est rien, sept jours furent d'ailleurs nécessaires pour le tournage, avec 70 prises de vue différentes. La continuité de la scène est faite par le son : le bruit de l'eau quittant le pommeau. Toute la dramaturgie est de plus soutenue par la musique de Bernard Hermann qui intègre au plus haut sommet de la tension les cris, quasi musicaux de Janet Leigh.
La scène s'avère être un véritable exercice de montage.
On ne voit jamais la lame du couteau entrer dans son corps. Voici ce que disait Anthony Perkins à propos de cette scène : « En fait, on ne voit presque rien. Il n’y a aucune violence, tout est suggéré grâce à de bonnes prises de vue, à une musique adéquate et à des plans finement insérés. Tout est très discret. Je pense que c’est une des raisons pour lesquelles cette scène est si célèbre et efficace : elle n’attrape pas le public aux tripes pour les lui nouer. Toute la violence qu’elle contient vient de ce que le public imagine plutôt que de ce qui se déroule réellement sur l’écran. » Marion Crane n'est pas concrètement tuée, c'est l'esprit du spectateur qui l'assassine.
Sa mauvaise conscience s'incarne à travers l'ombre qui la roue de coups de couteau, l'empêchant de quitter la douche et lui rappelant à chaque instant le vol qu'elle a commis.
Pour créer le bruit des coups de couteau, l'accessoiriste a utilisé des melons. Pour la viscosité du sang, plusieurs composants furent testés, comme le sang artificiel ou le ketchup mais la couleur important peu, c’est le chocolat (coulis) qui fut choisi !

Une anecdote circule sur la scène de la douche : on dit fréquemment qu’Alfred Hitchcock aurait fait couler de l’eau glacée afin d’avoir une réaction plus réaliste de la part de Janet Leigh. Ceci n’est qu’une rumeur, qui a été démentie par l’actrice à plusieurs reprises.
Après le glissement du corps de Marion qui agonise l'instant de sa mort est symbolisé par la chute du rideau et son bruit caractéristique et guère éloigné d'une guillotine qui s'abat sur un condamné à mort. Le rideau de la douche joue alors le rôle d’un linceul.
Le plan le plus techniquement difficile est celui du gros plan sur l'œil de Janet Leigh où la caméra s'éloigne lentement. À l'époque, la mise au point automatique n'existait pas. Quand la caméra s'éloignait, il fallait faire le point à la main, tout au long, ce qui était très difficile. On retrouve une fois de plus la thématique de la spirale, très présente dans le film et souvenez-vous qui débutait la scène avec les morceaux de papier dans la cuvette des toilettes.

Psychose est devenu une référence dans le domaine du film d'épouvante. La fameuse scène de la douche a par exemple été souvent imitée, comme dans Pulsions de Brian De Palmas. Plus récemment, dans Scream : le personnage Billy Loomis reprend une des phrases célèbres prononcées par Norman Bates : "We all go a little mad sometimes" ("On finit tous par devenir un peu fou de temps en temps"). Les références à Psychose sont nombreuses et variées.

Bien que Psychose fût nominé quatre fois aux Oscars, dans les catégories Meilleur photographie, Meilleurs décors, Meilleur réalisateur et Meilleure actrice dans un second rôle pour Janet Leigh, il n'en remporta malheureusement aucun.

Psychose est un chef d’œuvre et notamment grâce à la scène de la douche. D’ailleurs, un film ayant pour titre « Alfred Hitchcock et le tournage de Psychose » est sorti au cinéma en 2013. L’actrice Scarlett Johansson joue le rôle de l’actrice Janet Leigh et reprend la scène de la douche. On n’a pas fini d’entendre parler de cette scène.

A dire (éventuellement en plus) pendant la partie entretien ou dans votre présentation mais attention ce sont des remarques sur le film et non seulement sur la scène de la douche: • Hitchcock a acheté anonymement les droits du roman éponyme (du même nom) de Robert Bloch pour seulement 9,000 dollars. • Ensuite, avant que le film ne sorte, il a acheté autant d’exemplaires du livre qu’il le pouvait, afin de garder la fin secrète. • Il a aussi insisté pour que dans les cinémas, personne ne puisse entrer dans les salles une fois le film commencé. Hitchcock désirait vraiment que la narration dramatique de l'histoire et son suspense soient respectés. (il reprit l’idée à Clouzot, qui avait fait cela pour son film Les Diaboliques). Cela a aussi fait de la publicité pour le film, et les spectateurs sont venus de plus en plus nombreux. • Le film a couté 800 000 dollars (ce qui est peu pour un film en 1960) et pourtant, il a rapporté plus de 40 million de dollars. La scène de la douche seule a couté 62000 dollars. • Quelques exemples de films inspirés par Psycho : 1991 : Le silence des agneaux. 1995 : Seven. 2002 : Panic Room. Il en existe beaucoup d’autres !!! • La censure à l’époque se basait sur un code : le code Hays. • Les décors utilisés pour tourner Psychose, à savoir la maison de Norman Bates et le motel, existent toujours. Ils font aujourd'hui l'objet d'une attraction des Studios Universal à Los Angeles, et peuvent en conséquence être visités. • Alfred Hitchcock aimait à le rappeler : Psychose est basé sur des faits réels, d'après l'histoire d'Ed Gein, reconnu coupable en 1957 d'avoir tué deux femmes dans le Wisconsin. Il avait conservé la tête de ses victimes et avait fait des abat-jour et des sièges avec la peau des corps, tout en préservant intacte la chambre de sa mère, décédée douze ans auparavant. C'est sa personnalité qui est à l'origine du personnage de Norman Bates. • Dans tous ses films, Hitchcock tient à faire une petite apparition clin d'oeil aux spectateurs. Psychose ne déroge pas à la règle, car le cinéaste peut être vu en train d'arborer un chapeau de cowboy dès la quatrième minute du film, hors du bureau de Marion Crane. • Avant Psychose : Sueurs Froides et La Mort aux Trousses. • Après Psychose : Les Oiseaux. (thème cher à Hitchcock, les oiseaux étaient déjà très présents dans Psychose, animaux empaillés, yeux et nez de Norman Bates…) • Le soutien-gorge que porte Marion au début du film est blanc, car Hitchcock voulait insister sur le côté angélique, et tromper le spectateur en la faisant passer pour une femme innocente. Après qu’elle vole l'argent, le soutien-gorge devient noir.

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