Rear Window

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In crime writing, composers not only scrutinise justice but also experiment with textual forms and features in response to different contexts

In Rear Window (Hitchcock 1954) Hitchcock scrutinises justice through the actions by the detective in solving the crime, which causes the audience to question certain ethics during the context of the film. However, through the use of various forms of textual features, Hitchcock enables the audience to empathise with the characters in the film and try to convince them that justice is done.

Hitchcock introduces a different approach in solving the crime from the conventions of the Golden Age, as a result of the tense and rising suspicions from the Cold War and McCarthyism within American at that time. This is shown at the opening of the film, whereby the sense of voyeurism is shown through the establishing shot. The long shot and the panning of the camera illustrates the setting of the movie as well as the neighbourhood whereby the crime will take place. This idea of voyeurism is shown throughout the film as Jeff's curiosity towards his neighbours gradually turns into semi-professional spying. This is shown through Jeff's use of his photographic tele-lens and binoculars from his job as a photographer to spy on his neighbours. Stella's reaction to Jeff is shown through the metaphor “We've become a race of peeping Toms” which emphasises the surreptitious and spying nature of America from the communist scare during the 1950s. Her referral to Jeff “should have your eyes put out with red hot pokers” reinforces Jeff being a typical voyeur. Lisa's and Stella's thoughts regarding Jeff's obsessive gaze represents the voice of the audience, however progressing through the movie they are unable to resist spying on their neighbours either. Therefore, this raises the question of whether conducting an unethical act of spying and invading one's personal life is appropriate in solving the crime. Thus, the responder is forced to decide...
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