Analysis and Discusion on Rear Window

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CIN 375E: formal notes for Novermeber 8, 2010 Part 2;  Prepared by:  Sivfong Liu (Siv)

We began the second half of the class discussing about the film Rear Window. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is a movie about an injured photographer’s (Jeff) accounts and observations of his neighbor’s daily activities through the windows of his confined New York City apartment. After being injured during an auto race accident, Jeff’s left leg was encased in castings up to his waist, leaving him immobile and wheelchair-bound. His “peeping-tom” behavior first started as merely an innocent activity to help his kill time, but later, it became an obsession. The film Rear Window is a critique on male voyeurism; critique of a peeping tom. In this movie, Hitchcock is able to draw a parallel between Jeff and the audience. Jeff’s relationship to the scenes outside his window is equivalent to the relationship the audiences have with the movie. During the discussion, a question was raised, asking why there is much focus of Liza’s ‘potency’ (or Jeff’s impotency) in the reading we were assigned. In Rear Window, there is a highlight of the issue of male impotency; which is also common in other Hitchcock films. In conventional psychoanalysis, women present a treat of castration. Hence, men find ways of overcoming this with various strategies. In Rear Window, in order to combat this sexual incompetence, Jeff fines various ways to solve and channel this problem. In the movie, he first used binoculars to watch his neighbors and later on used a power powerful telescopic photo lens to spy on them. It is only when he uses there “equipment” then he will be able to see what he want to see. In the movie, Hitchcock presents a scene that shows Jeff sticking his scratcher into his casting and eventually goes “Ahhhh”, (or ejaculate). This scene explains men (Jeff) lack of sexual power and by portraying this scene; Hitchcock is able to call our...
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