Rear Window Alfred Hitchcock (Critical Analysis).

2016 words - 8 pages

Rear WindowAlfred HitchcockAlfred Hitchcock's film 'Rear Window' was made at Paramount Studios in 1954. With a highly talented cast including James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Raymond Burr, Hitchcock hyped the film with taglines such as "See it, if your nerves can stand it after 'Psycho'..." In-keeping with much of Hitchcock's work, the horror and suspense is not of an entirely visual nature that we may be used to in more recent thrillers. He is more a master of suspense, paranoia and nerves. This is why I have chosen to concentrate on the very first ten minutes of the film, where the foundations of the storyline and its accompanying ambiguities are laid.The opening credits of a film can often tell us a lot about the forthcoming storyline and is indeed a great opportunity for director to set the tone of the film, establish an ambience and maybe to give us an idea as to what we can expect. Behind the credits of 'Rear Window' we can see three bamboo style blinds rising very slowly. Already we can draw a lot from this; The blinds conjure images of the theatre, rising like the curtains at the start of the show. This theme of drama and a 'theatrical reality' is one that we can pick up at many points in the film. The blinds are translucent, we can make out general shapes and colours, but can't see the true image of what is behind them. This is a very obvious link to the storyline, we don't know from the start what is going to happen or if Jefferies is dreaming up his suspicions about Thorwald or if what we are seeing is reality or in fact, a deluded point of view from Jefferies. The rate at which the blinds rise is almost tedious. They rise very slowly, making us wait to see what it behind them. I think we can also say that this is a reflection of the film, demonstrating Hitchcock's use of suspense, making the audience wait to see what is uncovered. The score during the opening sequence is very interesting. In a kind of jazzy style, the music shifts forms a few times, providing melodies that are pleasant to the ear along with crescendo's that are playing in flat and sharp notes. This may signify to the audience that we can possibly expect to have tension in the film amidst the fairly mundane setting which we can now see is a courtyard of apartments.The camera travels through the windows and proceeds to make a long tracking shot around the courtyard. Already we can see that the way the set looks is very theatrical. It almost two-dimensional like a stage, with windows into mini-sets within it. There are balconies around the sides that you may expect to see in a theatre. The scene has been set and we can see the area in which all the players will 'perform' in. We then get a view of a thermometer that shows a temperature in the nineties. This sets an air of tension and anxiety over the beginning of the film, almost warning us that something is going to happen. We can even tie the temperature of the air in with Jefferies who is later having his temperature...

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