Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock depicts men and women in the 1950's and how they are different and the same when representing their gender roles. There are circumstances in the movie where the gender roles change and switch around. When jeff has a broken leg he needs two women to help him around the house. Nurse Stella and his girlfriend Lisa both take pride in taking care of jeff. There were many different roles depicted in the movie, there were happy couples, sad couples, happy singles, and sad singles. Mr. Thorwald even kills his own wife, and he was the only man taking care of a woman, so maybe Alfred is suggesting that men should not take care of women.
The protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ is trapped, stuck in a wheelchair with a broken leg and we share his pain, we are also trapped. In a different way of course. We are trapped in his point of view. As the successful photographer that is L.B Jeffries (Jeff to his fiancée), played by James Stewart, passes his long and limited days and nights sitting by his window and shamelessly keeping an eye on his neighbours around him, we too share this obsession. The fact that Jeff has no chose but to sit and stare out the window, he cannot stop looking into this inviting and every changing view. We are like Jeff in the way that once we sit down in a cinema we too can only look at what is put in front of us. Patrick Stewart’s character symbolises all cinema goers, a human being brazenly watching the life of an alien. One of the first shots we see in the film is the opening of Jeff’s curtains by his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter). This
Rear Window, a 1954 romance/murder-mystery by the renowned golden age director Alfred Hitchcock, is a film that explores a multitude of themes and genres through the voyeuristic gaze of protagonist L.B. Jefferies. Jefferies, or ‘Jeff’ as he commonly known throughout the film, is a middle-aged bachelor recently hospitalised due to his high-risk career as a photojournalist. This hindered condition serves as an important foundation on which the movie is built upon as Jeff’s forced lifestyle being in a wheelchair causes an abrupt stop in his usual high intensity way of life and causes him to quench his boredom in other ways, predominantly watching the other residents in his apartment complex through the ‘rear window’ of his apartment. Observing the events that happen in the privacy of each of his neighbours’ apartments is certainly not minding one’s business but Jeff continues to do so anyway and ends up in all
This is ironic, since Jeff tends to avoid intimacy with Lisa, but is content to observe Miss Torso’s intimacies. She has several suitors throughout the film, and seems to be happily promiscuous. Miss Torso also projects Jeff’s apparently cruel and sadistic side. When she is attacked after refusing one suitor’s advances, Jeff, who has become accustomed to recording violence without intervening, just acts as a spectator and feels no need to help or stop looking.
With Rear Window (1954), Alfred Hitchcock proved himself to be one of the best directors of suspense thrillers filled with mystery and humour. He himself called the film his most cinematic one because it was told only in visual terms (Morrow), but it was also a challenging “editing experiment” as the entire film was shot from one place, Jeff’s apartment that overlooked his backyard. The Film follows L.B. Jeffries “Jeff” (James Stewart), a photographer confined to a wheelchair in his apartment after breaking his leg at work. He spends his days watching his neighbours and eventually suspects that one of them killed his wife. His caretaker, his girlfriend Lisa and his detective friend, at first unconvinced of his suspicion, eventually join him in his voyeurism and help him to solve the crime. In this essay, I will discuss how the film is about film itself. The notions of gaze will also be analysed, through a discussion of voyeurism and Jeff and Lisa’s relationship.
Cinematography John F. Seitz used lighting and camera angles in such a way to create a loneliness and hopefulness atmosphere. The crime scene at the beginning of the film, for example, used a low angle view to show the body floating from underwater. Low key lighting is often represented when scenes are shot inside Norma’s home. The interior shots are also tightly framed shots with extreme camera angles it gives off a depressed, claustrophobic environment. In the exterior shot, the scenes are in high key lighting and use realistic lighting to give off a lively atmosphere that Joe does not experience while inside the home.
Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock is a fillm full of symbolism and motifs that provides viewers with a bigger meaning. It shows these rhetorical appeals through Hitchcok’s eyes that would not be recognized if not analyzed. Through these appeals I have recognized the window as being a symbol and marriage and binoculars as motifs. After understanding much more than what the eye anitially sees when viewing this film there is a fine line between understanding what is going on in the film and observing what the protagonist Jeff is viewing.
The director asserts the loneliness and struggle that comes from fitting into social mores. The film 's protagonist L.B Jefferies is characterised as a man who diverts himself from what is expected of him. His dislike for marriage and his desire to remain independent isolates him from the rest of society. When Stella is conversing with Jeff about his relationship with Lisa Freemont, Hitchcock exhibits the constraints of society 's expectations. The fact that Jefferies does 'not want to ' get married to Lisa is considered 'abnormal ' in Stella 's eyes, indicates the normalisation of marriage during 1954. Jefferies ' isolation from society 's view of marriage is utilised by Hitchcock in order to critique the way in which society pushes others to conform. Jefferies’ dread is further displayed in the introduction of Lisa. Despite the close up on her face accentuating her beauty and the lighting illuminating her face giving her an angel like appearance, the shadow first introduces her as a shadow looming over him. Her shadow
To the unknown eye, Hitchcock has carefully and skillfully used Mise-en-scene to his advantage, causing the audience to feel fear and a sense of caution towards the character of Norman Bates. It isn’t until we reflect back on the scene and notice how intelligently Hitchcock uses the positioning of props and the characters, lighting, camera angle and staging, that we notice how he has added meaning to his characters but has also to the film, creating suspense and fear from one scene to the end of the film. Ultimately proving the point that Hitchcock “the master of suspense” uses Mise-en-scene to not only help make a brilliant film but also uses it as his disposal to add meaning in his
Shutter Island, a psychological thriller, directed by Martin Scorsese incorporates techniques throughout to reveal the truth in Shutter Island. The film, based on a missing patient investigation, turns out as a cover up psychological experiment designed to bring Edward (Teddy) Daniels back to sanity concludes to be the truth. This essay discusses that by analysing certain scenes, including the opening scene, Teddy and Chuck addresses Dr Cawley, and whislt Teddy and Chuck interview the patients. These three scenes assist to expose Shutter Island through film techniques such as camera angle and mise en scene.
Rear Window, a 1954 Hitchcock film is deceptively simple on the surface, but contains messages about marriage, class and privacy, to name a few. This essay will explore how attitudes to social standing in the 1950’s are expressed in the film. Lisa displays the attitude that class shouldn't be a factor in determining how she behaves or whom she should get married to. Jeffries is an example of the attitude that because of their material wealth and status, those in the upper echelons of society aren't entirely human and treats them as such. Stella portrays the attitude that class shouldn't be a major consideration in who to marry, but Jeffries would be foolish to not exercise social mobility and marry Lisa to improve his own social standing. Hitchcock's perspective to the attitudes of the characters in Rear Window also
Both of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, North by Northwest and Rear Window, were great movies with lots of suspense. The suspense, however, would not have been created without the entire mise-en-scene of the movies. Hitchcock was a master at using the elements of lighting, sound, and cinematography to heighten the suspense in his movies.
In Laura Mulvey’s article, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” she writes about the relationship between voyeurism, cinema, and gender. She begins by describing the concept of scopophilia, which means to gain pleasure from looking. She writes that scopophilia is inherently active/masculine, and that pleasure is derived from looking at other people as mere objects. On the other hand, the passive/feminine is derived from the experience of being looked at (pg.188). Mulvey sees this binary relationship between viewer and object being viewed as a part of our culture, and the greatest example of this is found in cinema. She argues that the act of moviegoing satisfies these voyeuristic desires in people. She writes, “The mass of mainstream film portray a hermetically sealed world which unwinds magically, indifferent to the presence of the audience, producing for them a sense of separation and playing on their voyeuristic fantasy,” (pg. 186). In this essay, I will further discuss her viewpoints on cinema and voyeurism, and how it connects to the film Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock.
Society is fooled into believing in the applied connection among people. Benedict Anderson’s idea of imagined communities emphasizes that, “… the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion” (5). Members of neighborhoods, cities, states, or countries feel a sense of unity with other members for living in the same place or maybe having the same basic values, but true unity comes from understanding the similarities among each other, considering the impact a person can have on another, and caring about lives. Recognizing the importance of lives being socially intertwined is necessary to sustain a considerate society.
In fact, there are many mysterious doors belonging to the opposite apartments which the destinations to are never discovered. This is a device used to create fear of the ‘unknown,’ but also heighten suspense. Therefore, our gaze may not be as omnipotent as had been discussed in the previous chapter. Given that the movie is diegetic, it is impossible for us to see everything as Jeff is human and needs his sleep just like the rest of us. He becomes a prisoner of his own gaze, fearful of what incriminating evidence he may miss during his unconscious hours. However, on four occasions the camera plunges out of Jeff’s window, into the courtyard. These instances include the opening sequence, the scene where the body of the strangled dog is discovered, the scene where Thorwald pushes Jeff out of the window and the final scene, where Jeff is seen with both his legs in casts. These scenes are important as it gives the audience the opportunity to escapes Jeff’s gaze and adopt an unrestricted overview of the situation for once. The choice of using a non-voyeuristic viewpoint for the final scene is thoughtful as it suggests there is no longer a need to be a voyeur now that the murderer has been