Like literary texts, films often tell stories on multiple levels. Ridley Scott made an ironic reference to this when he called his legendary science-fiction film Blade Runner a »700-layer cake«. These buried structures are created in two ways: by elements that resonate throughout the film itself and by references to other films, texts, myths, paintings, historical events etc. that are adapted in a specific way by the director, the scriptwriter and the production team.
Detecting hidden references is only the first step in creating an analysis; the next step is to elucidate the function of the reference within the film. For instance, what does it mean that Hitchcock’s heroine is attacked by birds, whereas Venus was depicted accompanied by a dove? And why does Melanie, our »Venus«, wear furs?