01 April Hollywood: In the context of film history and criticism, what is an auteur? Auteur is a director or a filmmaker whose influence on the film is of such profound nature that the entire film is stamped by his name. In the context of Rear Window, Hitchcock is rightfully considered an auteur because he obsessively looked after every single aspect of the film himself from editing to set design to costume to sound production.
What is meant by the term genre? What genre is Rear Window and what recognizable elements are present in the film that help to identify its generic identity?
The term “ genre” translates into any category of art form like music, literature, or films. Each genre is marked by a distinctive style of form or content. Rear Window falls in the genre “ Mystery” because of many mysterious qualities of the film. It virtually thrilled the viewers in many scenes by making them feel horrified of what might happen.
What are the principal themes in Rear Window? In other words, what is the film about? Bear in mind that this is a different issue than thinking about what happens in the film (though they are closely related of course). What are the bigger ideas to which the film is pointing us?
Voyeurism is an important underlying theme of the movie which points to bigger concerns in life. More than his exotic girlfriend, Jeff seems more interested in spying on his neighbors’ activities. He is always sitting by the window looking at what his neighbors are doing which also infuriates his girlfriend. This character is also described by Hitchcock himself as “ a real Peeping Tom” (Arnold and Stafford).
Identify a number of different analytical positions from which we can approach any film. Define each of them briefly and explain why a feminist perspective has been used so frequently to explain Rear Window.
Rear Window has been so frequently analyzed by a feminist perspective because this film and many other Hollywood movies have demonstrated a negative attitude towards women. Women have traditionally been portrayed as dumb blondes who cannot be as shrewd as male protagonists. Lisa keeps changing her clothes to please Jeff who remains in his pajamas throughout the film.
Rear Window is now nearly 60 years old. To what extent has it maintained is ability to create fear, panic, and tension in an audience? Do you think it would be a “ better” film if Hitchcock had had access to the kinds of seamless special effects we see in modern movies?
No, Rear Window is a masterpiece which cannot be perfected by use of special effects. This is because instead of investing in expensive special effects, Hitchcock seems more interested in giving glory back to the artists. It emphasizes on exclusion of special effects. Instead, emphasis is laid by the director on simple and naturalistic performances.
Who was Sigmund Freud and why might he so frequently be associated with the films of Alfred Hitchcock?
Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis. He explored human mind more deeply than any other psychoanalyst before him. Many of Hitchcock films relate to the writings of Freud. Many Freudian techniques have been adopted to construct a murder plot or unlock some important key to the human mind. His films profess that Freudian theories were correct.
Work cited:
Arnold, Jeremy, and Stafford, Jeff. REAR WINDOW. Tcm. com, 2015. Web. 01 Apr. 2015.