Rear Window: Irresistible Voyeurism
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is a uniquely captivating film that is an exemplary style of cinematic craftsmanship. Reaching into the minds of the characters, as well as the audience, Alfred Hitchcock is the master at utilizing the juxtaposition of images to bring us into the minds of the characters. In Rear Window, the story is so distinctively executed that it allows us to relate to our own curiosities, question our identities, and ponder our closest relationships. What is happening on the screen is merely a projection of our own anxieties, our own existence, and our self-ambiguity as portrayed by the characters in this wonderful film. Rear Window was originally a short story called It Had To Be Murder, written by Cornell Woolrich in 1942. Paramount Studios and Alfred Hitchcock, alongside screenwriter John Michael Hayes, adapted the story to film and premiered it on August 1st, 1954. It features actors Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr. After hurting himself in an auto race, professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries (James Stewart) is the main protagonist, his broken leg the shackle of his confinement in his small New York apartment. Dwelling on his unforeseen condition, he spends his time looking out the rear window of his apartment. Through his curious surveillance of his diverse neighbors, he begins to suspect that one of them has committed a murder. Upon his wicked theories lay the intrigue of his new suspicion, and as his observations unfold, “Jeff” must convince his love interest Lisa (Grace Kelly), his therapist Stella (Thelma Ritter), and a local detective that his suspicions are more than just senseless perversions. Hitchcock masterfully displays his brilliance by inviting us into the irresistible voyeurism of Rear Window. His cleverness in depiction of the characters increases our imaginations, and brings out a subjective reality that the viewer can relate...
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