Rear Window Sequence Analysis

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Do You See What I See? : An analysis of theme in Rear Window’s “Meet the Neighbors” scene Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, introduces a plot about the voyeur-esque lifestyle that has overcome L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries while being temporarily immobile in his New York apartment. The viewer is given a visual introduction to the neighbors that live in the same area as Jeff, as the camera pans left and right by the different windows across the courtyard. The panning of the camera imitates the moving eye, as if the viewer himself is looking. Encountering all of the inhabitants for the first time personalizes their characters, and in turn establishes the themes of relationships and voyeurism in the film. Through music, camera use, and mise-en-scène, Hitchcock concocts a mélange of filmography tactics to aid in the development of these themes in the film. Music conducts a large role in this film and as William Shakespeare once quoted “if music be the food of love, play on”. As the camera observes the neighbors, the song “To See You Is To Love You” by Bob Hope plays eloquently and subsequently harmonizes with the ongoing themes of voyeurism and relationships. The title of this song, upon grammatical dissection, illustrates the ideas of voyeurism: “To See You” and relationships: “To Love You”. This song inevitably draws to its source in the composer’s apartment which, as the viewer shortly finds out, is the root of all the music in this film. The music is therefore diegetic because the piano playing is within the story space of the film. During the conversation between Lisa Freemont and Jeff, Lisa states that the music is “almost as if it were being written especially for us” as she is serving dinner to Jeff who replies facetiously “No wonder he’s having so much trouble with it”. This interaction shows how Jeff is having difficulty remaining content with his relationship with Lisa due to his inability to see the woman she is past her perfection and splendor. In sum,...
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