Hitchcock Rear Window Analysis

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What is distinctively ‘Hitchcockian’ about Rear Window?

Alfred Hitchcock, an important figure in film history, uses his creativity to make a perfect combination between entertaining and aesthetic. Therefore, his unique method of telling a story and theme choice is studied as the name of ‘Hitchcockian’, such as psychological complex and giving suspense. While Hitchcock built up his personal style, he still went through several periods to grow his recognition towards the film industry. And Rear Window, a highly successful film at the box office and being listed among best one hundred American films of all time in 1998 (Cowie, 2005), is an example of Hitchcock’s ‘mature’ period, shows the audience some distinctive parts of ‘Hitchcockian’ way
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According to Thomas Mann, ‘The idea of suspense is closely bound up with the idea of fiction’ (in Bordwell & Thompson, 2009, p.59). But despite the story line, Rear Window explains the nature of a film that recording what we see, hear, think or dream in the reality and giving back to us through the screen. When a day begins, everyone has the possibility to open the window and accidentally see what happens in the opposite apartment. And in Rear Window, people are living in New York City, substantially normal, just like us, who are watching the film, which is a strong contrast to a murder case and gives us more mental panic when we find out a murderer living in next door. Certainly the story itself is a fiction. But just like a pyramid theory mentioned in Sherlock (series 2 The Final Problem, 2012), every level of it is based on the reality only except for the spire so that people just easily fall for it. Thus, the reason we feel incredibly intense even after the characters tell a joke, is that Hitchcock sets suspense in our mind rather than just in front of eyes, which is completely different with other thriller films. Additionally, Hitchcock argued ‘that suspense depends on the spectator having knowledge about the events and often knowing more than the characters’ (Cowie, 2005, p.476). In a result, we are anticipating the story on behalf of…show more content…
This is an aspect of ‘pure cinema’ as well. Every plot does not only work for the main characters, but the whole story. If there are only leading male and female characters, and other people exist because of them, then the story will not be complete or stable. To some extent, what is inside the film is a small community, and each character is an essential part in it, just like every human being is equal to live in this world. What makes them lead the story is the perspective that director chooses. In Rear Window, Hitchcock also pays attention to those nobodies, such like Miss Lonelyheart and Miss Torso. And their ‘side-stories’ are both processing in a visual way, for the objective restrictions that Jerreries cannot hear their voices from his side of the building. To be more realistic, their stories seem to be no link with the main storyline. Miss Lonelyheart is pathetic, faking to enjoy her life with someone she loves. And Miss Torso, just like a queen bee, according to Jefferies’s words, is dealing with many other anonymous bees. However, Hitchcock creates them. In addition to that it is an experiment for his ‘pure cinema’ theory, how Jefferies looks at them suggests the temporal stereotyping, and sarcasm to the audience who is watching them

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