Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Rear windows” is one of the greatest masterpieces in cinematography. Alfred Hitchcock’s experimental style of filmmaking, which uses many different cinematic techniques, is well-known. The film “Rear window”, no exception to this rule and packed with amazing techniques is no exception. Alfred Hitchcock’s ironic view of the human nature is also reflected in his film “Rear window”. Voyeurism can be defined as the act of spying, or watching people’s private lives. Three elements make “Rear window”, one of the most popular movies, so great: the lack of dialogue in the film, the shooting of the film at a single place, and the impact that voyeurism has.
First, showing the details of a story and not saying a single word can have a huge impact on an audience. According to Al Ries and Jeck Trott’s book “Positioning” (2001), visual images are better perceived than words. This first scene is an example of a story that can be told without words. We see the man’s broken leg and his name on a cast in the first scene. In the next shot, we can see his camera broken and pictures of an explosion and a car race. These photos help us to understand the man’s identity, including his name, profession, and that he was injured while taking a photo report. Jeff’s life is also portrayed in photos. When we see a guy with a piano on his bed, we can guess he’s an artist. She is doing ballet as she makes breakfast. She’s a ballerina. As we watch the characters in each film, it is possible to tell their story by only observing certain actions or small details. Our imagination helps us make assumptions, which makes us more engaged in what’s happening on screen. Visual storytelling helps the audience to engage in the story. They can guess the theme of the film. Alfred Hitchcock stated that if a film is good, it doesn’t matter if the sound goes off. The audience will still understand what happened. A story told without words can be a great way to engage an audience.
Hitchcock is a master at putting his audience into the shoes of Jeffries. Jeff’s flat is the only place where the camera stays, so we get to see things through Jeff’s perspective. It makes us think and feel like the protagonist. This creates tension because we don’t know any more than Jeff does. Jeff’s scene with detective Doyle in which Doyle states that Thorwald is not the murderer of his wife. Jeff is now beginning to doubt that his accusations are true. We think the same as Jeff: maybe Jeff is imagining things and Mrs. Thorwald didn’t die. It shows how powerful shooting techniques can be. Hitchcock shows Thorwald smoking in his apartment from Doyle’s point of view. Jeff watches Doyle from above, so we see him in a different light. This makes Doyle look bigger and important. By the time the camera catches Doyle, we know that he’s won. We are confused about the outcome in this situation. Jeff has a point or is he mistaken?
The “Kulishov Effect” can be achieved by shooting in a single location. In “Rear Window” we see Jeff’s neutral face in the middle of the shot, then newlyweds and then Jeff smiling. The “Kulishov effect” connects the different shots and allows us to understand how the main character feels in different situations.
The idea of shooting the entire film at one location is not only interesting, but also unique. The audience is shown other stories through the story ‘Rear Windows’. Hitchcock uses the parallel of the viewer with the main character. He shows the human tendency to enjoy spying on others, which is called voyeurism. Jeff sees different stories from his neighbors. We can see the lonely woman who is always waiting for someone, the musician trying to make a song that will be successful, and the dancer who keeps dancing all day. Alfred Hitchcock’s ideas can be understood through these short tales. On the one side, voyeurism violates an individual’s privacy. It can also cause wrong opinions as was the case with Ms. Torso. It was held in Ms. Torso’s apartment. Jeff grimaces as he shows his dislike for her. By the end, her boyfriend returns. He’s short and wears glasses to make him appear as someone below her physical standards. But that doesn’t matter, they are happy together. Alfred Hitchcock also shows a positive side to voyeurism. Jeff’s bad behavior of spying upon his neighbors was instrumental in solving the murder. Hitchcock’s cinematography is also revealed in the film. The film itself artificially peeks into someone else’s world. Hitchcock poses the question: Is it bad or good to look into someone else’s life?
The film “Rear windows” was a huge contribution to the cinematography. Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” is among the greatest films of cinema. Three unique factors contributed to the popularity of films among audiences. First, tell a story that is not dialogue-based. This makes the audience think and become involved. In the second place, the use of a limited amount of space to film in a specific location creates a strong emotional connection between the character and the viewer. Hitchcock also shows in “Rear window”, a positive side to voyeurism that helped solve a murder. The film is still a classic, even though it’s been over half a decade since its release. The “Rear Window”, an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, combines all the elements that contribute to the atmosphere of excitement and tension. This film is a classic that will immerse you in the 1950s and allow you to appreciate Grace Kelly’s charm and courage. Alfred Hitchcock is a master of suspense and mystery. It’s worth taking a look at his work to understand yourself better.
Rias A., Trout J. Positioning: the Battle for Your Mind 2001. McGraw Hill Professional, based in New York.
The Kuleshov Effect explained (2018). StudioBinder. Retrieved 18 February 2019 from https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/kuleshov-effect-examples/