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Rear Window

By | December 2012
Page 1 of 4
Andrew Raphaelson
Art 138
Prof. Friedberg
11/25/12

Rear Window

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is a demonstration of the world created for us by viewing a film or real life situation. In this movie, we gain insight into the point of view of a hidden spectator and the physical space around him. L.B. Jeffries, the protagonist of the film, who is reduced to nothing but a wheel chair and the view from his window of neighboring apartments, witnesses what he suspects to be a murder and shows the audience the perspective of a man viewing the world through a camera lens. This is done through several cinematic effects and the captivating idea of a murder mystery in your own backyard. 

L.B. Jeffries is a photographer who broke his leg in his line of work. Now house-ridden in a wheel chair, Jeffries begins to take a closer look at the only visible part of the world to him, the view from his window. He pays close attention to his neighbor, Lars Thorwald, whom he believes killed his own wife. As a viewer of the movie, you can share the emotions of Jeffries, as he is a viewer to the murder mystery as well. His window and lens of his camera are the rectangular viewing devices that he sees the world just as we do when we see the film. We are essentially viewing a movie from the eyes of another viewer, letting us relate even further with Jeffries. 

Various cinematic techniques were utilized in this film to create the physical space that Jeffries was confined too and viewed from, as well as to give the viewer of the film an accurate perspective of the viewer. Mise-en-scene being in my opinion the most important effect used, it includes everything used in the film from the actors, lighting, stage, props, and setting. In Rear Window, the miss-en-scene was a small apartment usually dimmed in lighting to reduce any attention to its large and strategically placed window which allowed perfect viewing of the windows of parallel building’s apartments. The actor James Stewart...
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