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English: Rear Window
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A study guide for VCE students which includes discussions of the film's context, themes, cinematography & key symbols, as well as videos covering nine film techniques used in Rear Window, and an essay topic breakdown.
The hero of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window is trapped in a wheelchair, and we're trapped, too - trapped inside his point of view, inside his lack of freedom and his limited options. When he passes his long days and nights by shamelessly maintaining a secret watch on his neighbors, we share his obsession. It's wrong, we know, to spy on others, but after all, aren't we always voyeurs when we go to the movies? Here's a film about a man who does on the screen what we do in the audience - look through a lens at the private lives of strangers.
Watching Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller Rear Window is an interesting and somewhat unusual experience. On one hand you're a passive spectator watching a film about a recently-incapacitated photographer spying on his neighbors out of boredom, but on the other you are an extension of good ol' Jimmy Stewart's intrusive gaze. This article explores how Hitchcock uses set design, camera movement, shot size, and editing to achieve his aims.
Hitchcock created something very special with Rear Window. He takes the notion of narrative perspective and exaggerates it by creating an invalid character without the ability to leave his apartment. We see what Jefferies sees, nothing more or less. Hithcock’s artful approach to what information the viewers should or should not be given shows his mastery of suspense and ability to make an audience identify with his characters but it also shows his ability to make an audience question even their own notion of the truth.
Film: Rear Window
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. Includes introduction by David Stratton.
Video: Rear Window in Context
The 1930s and ‘40s saw a wave of European film directors emigrate to the US. In the same period, anti-communist hysteria due to Cold War tensions swept across the US and paranoia became commonplace. This video delves into the historical context behind the surveillance and suspicion seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rear Window. It provides a valuable accompaniment to students studying this film.
Production Year: 2019
Video: Rear Window: Turning Viewer into Voyeur
A look at how director Alfred Hitchcock both thrills and critiques his audience with the 1954 classic Rear Window.
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window is one of the icons of American filmmaking. A perfect example of Hollywood cinema at its best, it is an engaging piece of entertainment as well as a fascinating meditation on the nature of the film itself. A suspense thriller about a chair-bound observer who suspects his neighbour of murdering his wife, the narrative becomes the vehicle for Hitchcock's exploration of the basic ingredients of cinema, from voyeurism and dreamlike fantasy to the process of narration itself. This volume provides a fresh analysis of Rear Window, which is examined from a variety of perspectives in a series of essays published here for the first time. Providing an account of the actual production of the film, as well as feminist and cultural readings of it, it also demonstrates the influence of Rear Window on a wide range of filmmakers, including Antonioni, De Palma, and Coppola.
Alfred Hitchcock used non-verbal communication extensively in his filmmaking to convey meaning and to create suspension for the audience. The possibilities of the camera for conveying meaning was paramount to his storytelling. A well-known example of his use of camera movement is Rear Window (1954), a film that evokes a viewing experience for the spectator in the form of "a mental process, done by the use of the visual", manipulating points of view to the viewer's gaze with narrative frames.
Alfred Hitchcock is known for being one of cinema's most productive auteurs and a pioneer in the field of visual manipulation. Through his way of directing the camera – and with the camera also the gaze of the spectator – his audience not only appreciates the narrative itself but also, and especially, Hitchcock's technique of storytelling. By means of simultaneously zooming in and tracking out, combined with point-of-view shots and extreme close-ups, the audience assumes the protagonist's perspective along with a sense of vertigo, guilt and pleasure. Thus, as a director, Hitchcock is like a criminal who makes the audience his accomplice in a crime that is about to unfold in front of their eyes.
Alfred Hitchcock (UK, 1899-1980) is undeniably the world's most famous film director. His name has become synonymous with the cinema, and each new generation takes the same pleasure in rediscovering his films, which are now treasures of our artistic heritage. Hitchcock started out in the British silent cinema of the 1920s, which reached its peak with successful thrillers such as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Sabotage (1936) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). Recognized as a 'young genius', Hitchcock moved to Hollywood and set about reinventing cinematic tradition, combining the modern with the classic in films such as Vertigo (1957), North by Northwest (1959) and The Birds (1963). Hitchcock gave talented actors such as James Stewart and Cary Grant the chance to play enduring antiheroes and imprinted the public imagination with the myth of the 'blonde', as embodied by Grace Kelly, Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren.
Video: Rear Window - Analysis
Documentary about Hitchcock's movie Rear Window produced by the University of Central Florida.