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Citing 'Psycho' as evidence, scholar argues for fan editors' artistic freedom

Friday, October 30, 2015

Norman BatesLAWRENCE — One of scariest movies of all time, “Psycho” is Alfred Hitchcock's work at his finest. But a University of Kansas scholar thinks deleting a scene would make the movie even darker.

As part of an argument for why fan editors should have the artistic freedom to share their re-edited versions of feature films, Joshua Wille, a doctoral student in film and media studies, tweaked the final minutes of “Psycho.”

In 1998, while reviewing Gus Van Sant’s remake of the movie, film critic Roger Ebert questioned the use of a psychiatrist character to explain Norman Bates’ psychosis. Following Ebert’s suggestion, a fan editor by the name of "Stomachworm" made a cut of the film in 2009 that shortened the psychiatrist’s monologue at the police station. The cut, which was acknowledged by Ebert as being effective, is no longer accessible online because of copyright issues.

Wille reconstructed the alternative version based on Ebert’s critique, which keeps the first few seconds of the psychiatrist’s monologue. He then created another cut that takes out the psychiatrist’s speech entirely and jumps to Norman sitting alone in the jail cell with the voice of his mother in his head.  Read more.

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