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August 05, 2020, 12:04:43 pm

Author Topic: Rear Window Essay - Need Feedback  (Read 626 times)  Share 

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dream chaser

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Rear Window Essay - Need Feedback
« on: September 23, 2019, 09:36:34 am »
Hi Guys,

Here is a Text Response Essay on Rear Window which I have just finished. It would be really much appreciated if you could have a look, give me some feedback and give me a mark out of 10.

Thanks  :)

"What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change." How does Hitchcock demonstrate that Jefferies is blind to his own problems?
Silhouetted in a 1950's America where The Cold War caused paranoia and fear across the whole country, British born director Alfred Hitchcock uses his influential film Rear Window (1954) to expound on the ways citizens focused more on their neighbours than themselves. In his visual representation, the auteur reveals how Jefferies is imperceptive to his own complications. Throughout, Jefferies is shown to engage in voyeurism to help him forget his loss of vigour and self-reliance. Furthermore, through observing his neighbours, Hitchcock positions the protagonist to be vulnerable to his surroundings unaware and reap the ramifications. However, to a smaller extent, Hitchcock's seminal film addresses how intrusion can assist Jefferies to form deeper relationships.
Being a prominent aspect of the film, the creator exploits Jefferies' voyeuristic tendencies to mask his discomfort at losing his independence and masculinity. Robert Burks' work of the camera predominantly showcasing Jefferies' point of view captures his desire to see what is around him and in doing so, be diverted from his own inabilities. Characterized as a World War II veteran and a photojournalist whom gets himself 'half-killed' for his duties, Hitchcock suggests that the protagonist was a man of action and replicates the pursued careers of men in post-war America. While the wheelchair and the juxtaposed low and high angle shots between Jeff and Lisa is symbolic of his loss of autonomy, Lisa becomes Jeff's 'legs' as he gives orders to her. Subsequently, Hitchcock positions us to feel that voyeurism is making the protagonist wrestle back control. Furthermore, Ray Moyer and Sam Comer's construction of Jefferies' apartment overlooking his neighbours mirrors the Panopticon model by Jeremy Bentham as Hitchcock drives the audience to acknowledge Jefferies' need for control, in spite of his erosion of vigour. Additionally, the auteur deploys Jeff's mentality to mimic 1950's American society which emphasized the idea of males as the patriarch and women being subservient to them. Accordingly, Hitchcock showcases how being a 'peeping tom' allows him to disregard his lack of liberty.
Moreover, Jeff's encroachment causes him to be exposed to the environment he is in unexpectedly and thus, suffer the consequences. As Jefferies exercises his position as an observer, we the audience are also prompted to see the activity of his neighbours and not consider being watched back by them. While observations lead to Jeff believing there is a 'neighbourhood murder', Hitchcock uses most of his other characterizations to reject his claims indicating that 'people do a lot of things in private they couldnít possibly explain in public'. Subsequently, the director causes Jeff to do the majority of the investigation on his own and consequently, makes the audience to see him vulnerable to what is to come. This is furthered by the breaking of the fourth wall. Albeit it suggests Jefferies and thus, us to become a participant rather than a spectator, the auteur insinuates the feeling of susceptibility, positioning us to engender notions of fear and danger towards the main character. Similarly, the darkness coupled with the mise-en-scene of the flashing light employed during the fight scene between Jeff and his doppelganger highlights his helplessness and the complications of being blind to his own actions. Finally, as his other leg gets broken, Hitchcock enunciates the direct consequences of being a 'window shopper' and 'look[ing] out the window at the neighbours'. In essence, the auteur excogitates Jeff's actions to intrude to be ingenuous leading him to face the punishments for doing so.
While director Hitchcock portrays Jefferies to be imperceptive to his own troubles, he is also depicted to further develop his relationships with those around him through looking into 'a secret, private world'. Though Jefferies is displayed as a largely emotionless person early on, proven through having no feelings for someone considered 'too perfect', the progression of the linear structured story allows us to see him evolve as a more connected character to those in Greenwich Village. As the camera pans to Jeff looking at Ms Lonelyheart, the audience are first to notice his change in mentality. Through the close-up showing Jeff sympathetically raising his glass to her, Hitchcock suggests that he has forged an emotional connection with Ms Lonelyheart, in spite of the contrasting views they had pursuing marriage. Along the same vein, Stella, considered the voice of conscious and reason, downplays Jeff's views about marriage making the protagonist respect her only as a nurse as she advices him to 'look in for a change' . However, as she too becomes involved in the murder, Hitchcock outlines how becoming a voyeur makes Jeff see Stella as a whole person, not just by her occupation. Likewise, being considered as belonging to a 'rarified atmosphere of Park Avenue', the audience are entitled to see 'Lisa tr[ying] to "sell" Jefferies a new identity' as futile, according to Robin Wood, Hitchcock's films. Nevertheless, through becoming 'Jeff's legs', the auteur allows the protagonist to see a different side of Lisa, one where he's 'proud of [her]'. In doing so, the mystery thriller directs the audience to recognize how the invasion of privacy prompts an individual to appreciate the skills of another. In the same way, Jeff's changing views of Lisa is also echoed by Edith Head's costuming of her. While the fashionable clothing of Lisa at the beginning makes Jeff see her as a socialite, the more practical and modern clothing that she wears at the denouement of the film matches Jeff's altered perceptions. Overall, Hitchcock pinpoints how engaging in the same activities allows for Jeff to establish more meaningful bonds to those around him.
Ultimately, Rear Window accentuates how Jefferies is blind to his own problems. Hitchcock demonstrates this through voyeurism and how it conceals his pain at losing his individualism and masculinity while also making him vulnerable to his neighbours and experience the ramifications as a result. Conversely to a smaller extent, the auteur also addresses how voyeurism lets the main character to further develop his relationships.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 09:38:18 am by dream chaser »