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.
Hitchcock defines Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954), as the story of a man who cannot move and looks through a window, about what he sees and how he reacts to it (Truffaut, 1986). In addition, Hitchcock constructs the character of the protagonist of the film, Jeff (James Steward) not only using cinematographic devices how interprets what he sees and his own life, by stabilising a dichotomy between what he looks and what he lives.
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
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window has several themes. One major theme is relationships. The lead character, Jeff Jeffries, a photographer and committed bachelor, is involved in a relationship with Lisa Fremont, a model, although the relationship has some tension due to Jeff’s lack of commitment. When Jeff is confined to his apartment recovering from a broken leg, he begins spying through his rear window on his neighbors in a nearby apartment. Through her frequent visits, Lisa is drawn into this spying as well. In each of the apartments, lives are lived and relationships are being played out, and the dynamics of those relationships reflect back to aspects of Jeff’s and Lisa’s relationship and their anxieties and desires.
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.
Isolation is the separation of a person from themselves, the society or the world around them. Human beings tend to favor isolation during harsh or painful situations that they would like to escape or forget. The recurring theme of isolation is seen in the novel Caught by Lisa Moore. The isolation of the main character, David Slaney in Caught is portrayed by Moore through his love life, social interactions and fear of being caught. Moore’s depiction of isolation causes Slaney to grow into a petrified, emotionally detached and secluded person.
“Mise-en-scene” is a French expression that was originally a theatrical term that refers to “staging” (Thompson & Bordwell 1999). When this term was transferred to film production, its practices involved the framing of the shots (Hayward 2000). According to Karam (2001), Mise-en-scene involves a choreographed set of visual elements that correspond to a set of ideas.
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
Isolation is when one is set apart from others and is virtually alone. In Laurie Anderson’s Speak, the protagonist, Melinda, isolates herself and is further isolated from others. Isolation can be seen through three symbols: lips, mirrors and a closet. Melinda thinks no one cares about what she has to say, resulting in silence. After the incident in the summer, Melinda cannot bare to look at herself. A space where Melinda can physically be alone is what she needed to even more so build a wall between her and others, thus being why the closet is an important aspect and symbol. Isolation is what helped Melinda cope with her pain, this is what makes it the major theme in the novel.
Two films, although created years apart yet have a lot in common, including their content of it’s narrative techniques. Both films, even though black and white with strokes of genius of cinema offer a vast stretch for study. I will be looking at Sir Orson Welles “Citizen Kane” (1941) and Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” (1950). We see in Citizen Kane he values for the American life. The three abstract themes that constantly follow through Citizen Kane are Wealth, Power and Love. However, in the movie “Rashomon” it displays the pursuit of the truth. The use of narratives allows them to take both the films to interesting directions. In Citizen Kane the narratives tell the viewers the insignificant part of life of an American Newspaperman Mr. Charles Foster Kane. In Rashomon the viewer gets a totally different perspective. We also notice that in Citizen Kane Well’s has used a lot of black techniques and its techniques and in Rashomon on the other hand is more a day lit film. In this essay I will be comparing the themes and the narrative techniques used in both films.
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.
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho redirected the entire horror genre, and in doing so dismantled the prudent 1950’s societal barriers of cinema. Although unseen for its potential by the large studios of the time, Psycho became one of the crowning achievements of film history. While based partially on a true story of murder and psychosis from Wisconsin, the widespread viewing of this tale made way for a new era of film and ushered in a new audience of movie goers. The use of violence, sexual explicitness, dramatic twists, sound, and cinematography throughout this film gave Hitchcock his reputable name and title as master of suspense. In 2018, reviews of films often are headlined with “the book was better.” But, in 1960 there was no such thing
Camera narration is crucial to the effect the movie has on its audience. It is noticed that the viewer rarely gets close to the apartments or characters across the courtyard. The viewpoint is mainly fixed to Jeff’s apartment, apart from a few occasions where the camera plunges out of the window. The fronts of the buildings facing the main street are never shown either; instead all of the action takes place within the mystery and secrecy of the backyard, hence the title name ‘Rear’ Window. Perhaps Hitchcock realised that many people would not behave the same way in their front facing windows. Whilst they may hide their deepest, darkest secrets behind drawn curtains in the front part of their home, they may be less cautious at the rear of the