Psycho, Psycho, Psycho – by James Franco
What’s in an adaptation? What’s in a remake? How does the transference of material from life into art differ from the transference of material from one piece of art into another? And what about the approach? Meaning, when we take from life, do we do it as a documentary (nonfiction), a feature film (fiction), or as reality television (depressing)? And when we do a remake, what are we remaking? The story, the characters, the structure, the way it was shot, the way it was written?
The story of Psycho began with Ed Gein, a real dude who lived in Wisconsin in the 50s. Gein was a sick bastard who liked going to the cemetery and digging up recently interred bodies of women whom he thought looked like his mother. (Gein must have been doing a ton of digging, especially considering he was all by himself! I had to dig a grave once in a recent adaptation of As I Lay Dying, and that shit ain’t easy.) He made furniture out of their body parts—lamps out of their skin, bedposts out of their skulls. He seemed to be into collecting the parts as much as he was into the actual killing. You can see a list of flesh bits that were found in his house on Wikipedia. It was stuff like vaginas in shoeboxes and heads in bags.