Cinematic Techniques In Rear Window

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In the feature film, Rear Window, released in 1984 and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, parallels and counterpoints are employed to create narrative contrast. This ultimately enhances the character development of the protagonist, Jeff, and his romantic, Lisa. Set in a New York apartment block during the 1950s, the film explores the notions of voyeurism, dissatisfaction and the perceptions of monogamy. The discovery of a murder in an opposite apartment draws Jeff and Lisa together in their determination to solve the case. Central to the subplot, Hitchcock masterfully uses the relationships in other apartments, as well as cinematic techniques, to illuminate the progression of Jeff’s and Lisa’s relationship.

Initially, Jeff and Lisa are counterpoints and their relationship is fraught with tension. Lisa lives an extravagant life as a model and longs to settle down and marry Jeff. Devoted to pursuing Jeff, Lisa is displayed as an exhibitionist. Jeff, on the other hand, is a photographer who leads an exiting life and values his freedom. He believes his adventurous lifestyle is not compatible with Lisa’s. Such disparities
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As a means of escaping his boredom, due to his confinement, Jeff spends his time spying on his neighbours through his rear window. He is more interested in watching others than paying any attention to Lisa. The neighbours become personifications of Jeff’s own marital anxieties.

In Rear Window, Hitchcock highlights the variations of both married and single life through the use of voyeuristic framing. The tenants of the apartments are framed within their respective windows which become somewhat of a cinema screen for the voyeur, Jeff. With the conjunction of the framing and the point of view shots, the audience is able to share Jeff’s perspective, thus sharing the role of voyeur. Such techniques are employed to demonstrate the entire spectrum of romantic
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