Hitchcock the voyeur

Hitchcock discovered that nothing is more exciting for the audience, than being able to voyeur others. In connection with Vertigo we can detect with Jimmy Stewart. The brilliant technique of Hitchcock’s actually replaces us to be as excited as the character who detects after Kim Novak. He has an incredible ability to put us in the point of view of the leading character and he does it with considerable dexterity.

rear window

(http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/topten/poll/voted.php?film=Vertigo+(Hitchcock)

Hitchcock is fascinated with voyeurism the very beginning of  his career. (…) The ease with which the camera adopts his point of view and so encourages viewers to share his scopophilic pleasure, and the persistent fetishizing of the female object.(…) Hitchcock most baleful and extended plunge into the world of being-looked-at, the director returns to the specifically sexual gazes of Vertigo, Psycho, and Marnie, explicitly critical not only the death-seeking who watch the spectacle but also of the death-dealing entrepreneurs who stage it, anatomizing himself as ruthlessly as his audience. Hitchcock does not become more critical of his voyeurs as his career unfolds, but he does become more thoughtfully critical: Scottie Ferguson`s romantically obsessive gaze in Vertigo is more anguished than any of them, perhaps because the director is acknowledging the impossibility of his audience or himself looking away.

Thomas Leitch- The Encyclopedia of Alfred Hitchcock (358-359)

His movie, Rear Window based on this idea entirely. Jimmy Stewart looks, we can see what he sees than he reacts. “This is the ind of Hitchcock’s film making” – Curtis Hanson

He (Curtis Hanson) also spoke about Hitchcock movies alike. He was talking about his technical brilliance, his ability to tell a  story in a uniquely captivating way, his humor and what we have to deal with thematically: vouyerism, guilt, relationships and sexuality.

Not particularly successful at the time of its release, Vertigo has come to be recognized as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films, where his profounder obsessions are reinforced by his technical inventiveness. It can be argued that Hitchcock’s “greatness” comes only from the accident that his recurring obsession with voyeurism is the topic that best meshes with the ontology of the filmgoing experience. In any case, the longstanding argument over the superiority of his British vs. American periods looks to have been settled in favor of the latter. The less savory aspects of Hitchcock’s life revealed since his death come as little surprise if Rear Window, Vertigo , and Psycho are seen as a supreme voyeuristic trilogy.

—Scott Simmon

Questions:

1. Who is Curtis Hanson?

2. How did Hitchcock make Rear Window?

Resources

http://www.filmreference.com/Films-Tw-Vi/Vertigo.htm

http://www.echeat.com/essay.php?t=25576

Rear Window DVD

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