Psycho — Gus Van Sant’s Version
Van Sant’s version of Hitchcock’s probably most famous film entered film history as a pioneering experiment. Nobody has ever tried nor thought of making a perfect copy of any film classic by simply copying most of the original shots. However, in spite of the copying, Van Sant made a radical deviation from the original. He transferred the action of the film in the year 1998 because, apparently, most viewers were not interested in the film in the past, unless it was a historical film. This is the first indication of how much his experiment was a result of compromise and thus greatly reduced. Another problem arose from the choice of actors. Starting with the goal of making a perfect copy and motivated by the idea to achieve a pioneering experiment, he did not resist the temptation to get off the tracks a little and add some ’poetical’ elements. Mixing of various procedures turned out to be a failure. Final version leaves us under the impression that he probably would not have been any more successful even if he had opted for the usual interpretative remake. Basically, Van Sant’s Psycho is not totally uninteresting as an experiment, but it is a bleak production that cannot satisfy any of the targeted groups of viewers, neither ’elitists’ nor ’trivialists’.