Movie Audiences: Perception by Directors (Hitchcock) and Studio Heads (Harry Cohn)

Harry Cohn, head of Columbia, famously said:

“If my fanny squirms, it’s  bad. If my fanny doesn’t squirm, it’s good. It’s as simple as that.”

Hitchcock was as much a social psychologist of his spectators as a formal stylist of the genre.

He famously stated: “I enjoy playing the audience like a piano.”

When Psycho was released in 1960, Hitchcock observed:

“The process through which we take the audience, it’s rather  like taking them through the haunted  house at the playground.”

Jean-Luc Godard:

“The cinema exists in the distance between  the audience and the screen.”