Film Elements Research

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Rear Window
DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 1954 COUNTRY: USA LANGUAGE: English
Week 1: Discuss the relationship between spectators and cinema in relation to the film style of Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock. Stam, Robert and Roberta Pearson, “Hitchcock's Rear Window: Reflexivity and the Critique of Voyeurism,” in Deutelbaum and Poague, eds, A Hitchcock Reader, 2nd ed, Chichester, UK. & Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” uses voyeurism as the main idea that the movie focuses on. The main character L.B. Jeffry had an interest in monitoring his neighbourhood through his window; actually he gained the interests due to his broken leg. His occupation as a photographer linked with the voyeurism as it is a voyeuristic job; it was shown in the beginning of the movie whereby the scene focuses on few of the pictures hanging on the walls, a mise-en-scene of Jeffry’s apartment. There was also a professional camera in his apartment which builds up the character’s characteristic. Facing the fact that he cannot go to work because of his injuries, he has to resort to a different kind of voyeurism from voyeur for his work to his home life. “Hitchcock’s Rear Window: Reflexivity and the Critique of Voyeurism” by Roberta Pearson and Robert Stam, who state that ‘His profession of photojournalism assumes and exploits a kind of voyeurism’ (p.197). This movie links with curiosity and the desire to give his attention into the others. Jeffry’s curiosity begins with enjoyment seeing what the others did in their daily lives but it all turns out to spying, in the scene shown he started to use camera lenses and binoculars soon as his monitoring had become serious (Thorwald’s murder). Some of the main characters in the movie which are his fiancée (Lisa) and his nurse (Stella) presented Jeffry’s character as a voyeur ‘Peeping Tom’, ‘Window Shopper’.

Jeffry’s anxiousness on his neighbour’s routine makes him very keen into knowing what might have gone wrong with his neighbours, for example, ‘Miss Lonely hearts’ a single woman who are incapable of finding a partner and her unhappiness, noticing that her miserable life drive her to commit suicide he called the police to report and this shows that Jeffries’ voyeurism has developed. This film fascinated its viewers through its logical and critical representation of neighbourhood crime. It is very well known crime thriller that shows a realistic situation that stimulates suspicion and curiosity. The micro elements such as cinematography and mise-en-scene are used to generate some effects, feelings and opinion throughout the screen play. Cinematography is the shots and angles that are used efficiently to form moods and feelings. The film uses a lot of establishing shots to demonstrate the situation, the camera shows a lot of perspectives from Jerry’s point of view which can confuse the audiences. The title actually comes from the situation that focuses through his window only. This movie is very unique because of the scene used in the movie was only through the window and it was fascinating on how we can play around with the mystery of the murder case without specific information and many scenes like other movies. The director decided to give a specific characteristic to each character to add more depth to the film.

Hero
DIRECTOR: Zhang Yimou YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 2002
COUNTRY: China/Hong Kong LANGUAGE: Mandarin

Week 2: How does the colour cinematography of Hero of (Zhang Yimou, 2002) contribute to the film’s style (to be discussed in relation to formalism)? Bordwell, D, Thompson, K. (2008). “Summary Style as a Formal System” in Film Art: An Introduction. New York. University of Wisconsin. Pp. 304-308. Style is a formal system of the film formed with techniques of the film medium. Style and narrative/non-narrative form are two systems that work together with the overall film. Stylistic models are...
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