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American Psycho: An analysis using the techniques of MacCabe and Macherey

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  1. Introduction
    1. Recreating and reflecting reality: A key to the understanding what it is to be human
    2. Believing what our senses tell us about a situation
    3. Grodal films: Vital human concerns found to be more realistic
    4. The psyche of the unstable main character
  2. Analysis:
    1. Drops of red dripping against a white background.
    2. The scene following the end of the opening credits
    3. Voice overs occurring at key points in the movie
    4. Bateman's second kill
    5. The disappearance of Paul Allen
  3. Conclusion
  4. Appendix
    1. Summary of the film
  5. Works cited

The meaning of the film American Psycho has been much debated since its release. Is it a glorification of violence? a satire of the yuppie lifestyle of the eighties? a disturbing trip through psychosis? Based on the controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis, it is most often considered a black satire, commenting on the narcissism and excess of the young affluent Americans of the eighties and revealing the ugliness of their society.

[...] And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.? The camera focuses on his face beneath the mask?simply another kind of mask. There are a number of voiceovers in the movie, occurring at key points. Each reveals the cold, calculating nature of the inside of Bateman's mind as the camera shows his stony expression and blank eyes. [...]


[...] These corpses, combined with Christie's terror as an emotion we can connect to, ground us in the reality of the scene. She finally escapes the apartment and is pursued by an electric-saw wielding Bateman. Though Christie screams and bangs on doors, no one comes out to investigate. This could mean one of two things: people don't care or the scene is simply Bateman's fantasy. Also, Bateman is forced to murder her in a public stairwell, which seems unwise, and manages to time perfectly the fall of the saw down about six floors. [...]


[...] In an earlier scene, Bateman and his colleagues had been comparing business cards and that of Paul Allen, who incidentally calls Bateman ?Marcus Halberstram', stood out as the best. Pretending to be Halberstram, Bateman invites Allen out for dinner, during which he declares to an intoxicated Allen that he enjoys dissecting girls. Unlike the first time Bateman made such a comment, it is not conceivable that Allen did not hear him, however, we can believe that Allen, who continues to talk about Halberstram's girlfriend, is too drunk to notice the comment. [...]

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