Rear Window

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CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA
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Assignment: Textual Analysis
The opening of Rear Window (from the very beginning to Stella’s entrance).

The classic Hitchcock film, “Rear Window”, is an intelligent and engaging analysis of human perception, voyeurism and what it means to see, to be perceptive. Set in 1950’s New York, a boisterous free-lance photographer finds himself confined to a wheelchair in his tiny apartment recuperating from a broken leg. With only the occasional distraction of a visiting nurse and his frustrated love interest - a beautiful fashion consultant - his attention is naturally drawn to the courtyard outside his "Rear Window" and the occupants of the apartment buildings which surround it. Soon he is absorbed by the private dramas of his neighbour’s lives which play themselves out before his very eyes. There is "Miss Lonely-hearts," so desperately awaiting her imaginary lover that she sits him a plate at the dinner table and enacts their ensuing chat. There is the frustrated composer banging on his piano, the sunbathing sculptress, the shapely dancer, the newlyweds who are concealed from their neighbours by a window shade and an awkward middle-aged couple with an annoying barking dog who sleep on the fire escape to avoid the sweltering heat of their apartment. And then there is the mysterious salesman, whose nagging, invalid wife's sudden absence from the scene ominously coincides with his middle-of-the-night ventures into the dark, sleeping city with his sample case. Where did she go? What's the salesman shipping away in the boot of his car? What's he been doing with the knives and the saw that he cleans at the kitchen sink?

“Rear Window” by Alfred Hitchcock uses many techniques to capture the viewer and place them in the same world as the main character Jefferies (played by James Stewart). The opening sequence of this film uses many of the techniques that can be seen throughout the rest of the movie. In particular, the opening scene...
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