When I first watched the movie on television with my parents in the late sixties or early seventies, I remember thinking how familiar the scene looked, like it could have taken place in my Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush, where there were always those who looked and those who were looked at. That was part of the urban contract. Ever since I was five and my father had gone bankrupt, and in a reversal of the suburban dream, moved us from Seaford, Long Island, to Brooklyn, my family always rented the street-level apartment of a two-family brick home.
Skip to content. Skip to navigation. In this clip from Rear Window it supports the argument of Laura Mulvey's view in Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema by reinforcing that women in early Hollywood cinema would take part in voyeurism if they asserted activism.
Humanity has always had a certain voyeuristic tendency about it. Certain films examine this instinct in a thoughtful way, reflexively turning the cinema lens in on itself as cinema is a voyeuristic medium. Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window is one such film, which, in fact was unavailable for decades and re-released in theaters around because its rights, along with the rights to RopeThe Trouble with HarryThe Man Who Knew Too Muchand Vertigo were all bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and given as his legacy to his daughter.
Rear Window is a movie that inspires a good deal of solemn commentary from film buffs concerning its portrayal of the dark side of voyeurism. This is certainly true of the film, but before we get carried away, we need to remember that we too are the voyeurs. Perhaps this explains why the voyeurism in the movie is not as grim and sinister as some critics like to imagine. The ultimate achievement of the voyeuristic activities of LB Jeffries, Lisa Fremont and Stella is to capture a murderer, and to keep an eye on a neighbour who is contemplating suicide.
It is in many ways an ideal companion piece to Blue Velvet. But Rear Window actively lives that period, slyly tugging at the neat seams of s society from within. Smiling loved ones, waving fireman — the sheer Norman Rockwellian nature of that happy ending is an acknowledgement of its seductive artificiality, as desired and unattainable in as it was in
In Rear WindowAlfred Hitchcock decided to create a professional photographer who is forced to spend his long summer days next to the open window of his apartment, from where he makes time go by less painfully by observing his surroundings, or to be more precise, the other tenants of his apartment building. Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr all give excellent performances without which Rear Window would shine considerably less than it does, but Stewart is the one who carries this film to the end credits. What makes this film so good is the fact it could be seen and analyzed from numerous different perspectives.
It has been lightly edited. You can listen to the original lecture by turning up your volume and you can find a list of discussion questions here. People are often misguided about themselves.
The captivating nature of film as an artform stems from the natural human pleasure of watching something unfold upon others, without that someone having an awareness of our presence. Stuck in his apartment all day as an invalid, he has little else to occupy his time and mind. Because the viewer knows as much as Jefferies does, they are forced to make their own conclusions regarding this mysterious murder plot.
I think that if I had to pick my most favorite Hitchcock movie, it would be Rear Window. It had one of the most insightful commentaries on American life, one that often gets lost on viewers. Many people think that Rear Window is simply about voyeurism.
Jeff is obsessed with watching his neighbors, and even though he discovers a murder in the process, he's basically invading their privacy by being a peeping Tom who's armed with binoculars and a high-end telephoto lens. The audience becomes his partners in crime. As film critic Roger Ebert puts it:. The experience is not so much like watching a movie, as like