Rear Window Themes Essays On Music


Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 ‘Rear Window’ is a film full of symbolism, narratives, voyeurism and characterisation. It shows Hitchcocks as a strong auteur by creating it in a way in which he uses similar themes and motifs previously recognised. He also uses specific signature motifs, such as; character parallels and heavy use of vertical lines, as well as a strong protagonist. It is a film which focuses around the main protagonist Jefferies, who is a photographer who recently broke his leg and is restricted to a wheelchair. In the opening scene where the credits are shown, a lot is given away with regards to the forthcoming storyline and Hitchcock has created an opportunity to set the tone of the film. He also creates a great ambience, as a bamboo curtain is raised and the courtyard is shown, which is what the whole film revolves around.

Jeff spends his days and nights watching his neighbours through a pair of binoculars. The audience are shown life through Jefferies eyes within the six weeks in which he is restrained to just a chair. The window looks out onto a courtyard and displays a number of different windows which are representative of different ways of living in America in the 1950s.  Throughout this film the audience are shown many different characters and each window represents a different style of living and snippets of these characters lives as Jefferies sees them. There are three main protagonists in the film, the first, previously mentioned Jefferies, the second being Jefferies girlfriend (Lisa) and the third being Jefferies nurse (Stella). Throughout the film the relationships between these main protagonists change due to the change of happenings which unfold in front of Jefferies when he believes one of the neighbours of which he has been following commits the serious murder of his wife. Lisa is represented as the “perfect woman” as she is elegant, beautiful and a successful business woman, in this film whenever she is shown, she is always represented perfectly and lighting is used to continuously make her glow. She is always extremely stylish and graceful.

When analysing the visual structure of “Rear Window”, there is a parallel structure in which everyone is going about their daily lives. The audience are even shown people shaving, waking up in the morning and answering the phone. (The type of behaviour seen as normal everyday activities) This represents the fact that each of these windows show a sneak preview of what life was like as an American, living in this part of America in the 1950s, each character represents a different background. But these characters, although living so close to each other, barely interact or ever meet. Some of these characters include; a happy newlywed couple, a lonely dancer, a songwriter and Thorwald (the murderer). All these different people through the windows and their stories flow together seamlessly and music is used to proceed each scene, leading us to show what will happen next.

The newlyweds are shown through the binoculars and create a strong representation of how Jeff and Lisa could be. At the beginning of the film, Lisa and Jeff are seen as quite distant with each other and almost as strangers, they are shown as two very different characters. There is, however, a strong friendship built up with the nurse, Stella. As the film goes on Lisa and Jeff’s relationship changes, as Lisa soon becomes Jeff’s legs, when she begins to investigate the happenings of the flat in which Jeff suspects murder. With Jeff and Lisa working together to figure out if Thorwald does commit this terrible crime, it makes them work as a team and brings them closer and also makes them a lot stronger as a couple.  Lisa is seen as the eyes and legs outside the apartment. Without Lisa, Jeff would be helpless.

The camera man uses shots of panning and zooming to make it ever more realistic and makes it seem like the audience are viewing this through Jeff’s eyes. There is a good use of levels throughout which show the audience that a lot goes on behind closed doors which no one knows about, this is truly represented when the musician has the social gathering which is full of well off people enjoy themselves at a party and below there is the troubled wife, hidden behind the blinds.

 

When analysing the visual structure, the audience are constantly shown natural framing, which is a well-known theme in Hitchcocks films and truly represents him as an auteur. There are constantly shots which are framed by, openings such as; window frames, door frames and hallways. The window is shown to represent almost a cinema-like view for Jeff. He is the spectator of the film and sits and watches from his chair. Even when he becomes involved with one of the other characters, he does not leave the comfort of his chair or his home. This makes Thorwalds entrance into Jeff’s apartment, during the end of the film, ever more dramatic, as it is the first time someone which he has been watching interacts with him, whereas before there was the distance of the courtyard and this distance created a safety.

The use of props throughout this movie are very symbolic, the audience are shown everything through Jeffs eyes by the use of binoculars, these binoculars represent his sight. By using this it means the audience get a real feel for Jeff and his isolation.

The setting in the film is also incredibly symbolic, due to the fact the audience only see Jeffs flat, the courtyard and a small alleyway emphasises the idea of Jeff being confined and trapped. Also with him watching the dinner party of the musician it makes the audience feel sympathetic towards him as it makes him feel he is missing out on social events. The use of the small alleyway also does this, from his window and from what the audience are shown, all that is seen is an alleyway and at the end of the alleyway is a busy street. This represents Jeff being socially isolated and any social encounters are far away, in the distance.

The sound in ‘Rear Window’ is very interestingly pieced together. The majority of the sound throughout the film is diegetic opposed to non-diegetic. On the opening scene we see a man shaving, there is a radio which is blaring a commercial, we then see a man changing this to music and discover it is coming from the radio which is within the scene. This is then followed by the noise of an alarm clock, which shifts the attention from one flat to another, as this alarm clock is going off in a different flat. By doing this and making the viewer discover where this noise is coming from it makes the viewer more involved in the scenes, it leads the viewer towards the source as if they were there themselves.

When returning to analysing the beginning of the film, a lot of clues are given away on the structure and storyline of the film. Bamboo curtains are shown rising up slowly, this represents a theatre styled theme, rising up at the very beginning similar to that of a theatre show. The theme of theatre and drama is something which carries on throughout the film.

In conclusion, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, is a representation of life in the 1950s. It has been created in a way in which the cinema goer or the audience is the spectator and we see the film through the eyes of the main protagonist Jeff, who is the spectator in the film. We are shown a stereotypical example of Alfred Hitchcock as an Auteur as recurring, well known themes are shown throughout such as parallel structure, strong protagonists and a linier structure. The sound in this film helps the audience to interact with the film as it draws them in and gives them clues of where the next piece of action is going to happen. All the characters play a large part in the representation of the 1950s and the stereotypes which went along with that specific era.

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Theme Analysis for Red Road and Rear Window Essay

1088 Words5 Pages

Essay - Analysing the themes, which wore used in the film Red Road (2006), and also the surveillance, Misery and love and also explaining the directors (Andrea Arnold) decisions techniques.

In this essay I am going to be analysing the themes, which have been used in the film Red road (2006) and compare it to rear window (1954). I will also be looking at the CCTV surveillance. I will also be looking at misery and love and how does this change the characters objective along the film. I will also be looking and explain the directors decision and techniques which she has used in this film.

Andrea Arnold decision techniques with close ups and choice of vision in story telling via Jackie and the CCTV surveillance works well as it does…show more content…

Essay - Analysing the themes, which wore used in the film Red Road (2006), and also the surveillance, Misery and love and also explaining the directors (Andrea Arnold) decisions techniques.

In this essay I am going to be analysing the themes, which have been used in the film Red road (2006) and compare it to rear window (1954). I will also be looking at the CCTV surveillance. I will also be looking at misery and love and how does this change the characters objective along the film. I will also be looking and explain the directors decision and techniques which she has used in this film.

Andrea Arnold decision techniques with close ups and choice of vision in story telling via Jackie and the CCTV surveillance works well as it does engage with the audience, it makes the audience feel part of what is happening as, we are watching what Jackie is watching on the CCTV. Andrea Arnold also uses dogma style direct cinema, where the purpose of a camera and in this case the CCTV surveillance are basically used to capture live events as they happen, more or less makes the audience believe that these events which are occurring are real. In this case with Jackie the CCTV operator watching Clyde’s every move via the surveillance remote control system. The film also includes neat and impressive camera work, which effectively channels through paranoia and also emotions and feelings towards each character and does portray the different moods along the story. Andrea Arnolds has chosen a

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