This week, Kaleigh Quinn (#1 Christian Hipster Hitchcock Fan) ghost writes about cameras, good placement of good dialog and the haunting psychological horror of remakes.
(Note: Kaleigh sent this to me on Hitch’s birthday… brilliant.)
Rear Window (1954) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. With Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Wendell Corey and Raymond Burr. Script by John Michael Hayes. Based on a story by Cornell Woolrich.
Reasons Hipsters Will Like This Movie:
- Jeff shoots with an Exakta camera and uses the camera to observe the world around him and solve a crime, which is pretty much the way hipsters observe the world anyway, albeit with less soy latte.
- Edith Head’s amazing costume design. Forget Mrs. Thorwald, I’d kill for one of Lisa’s dresses.
- Unlike mainstream films, It is shot (almost) entirely inside Jeff’s apartment.
- It equates Jeff with the audience, everything he sees is a projection of his internal desires and struggles. Just like the average moviegoer goes to the movies to escape from his or her life for a while, so does Jeff with watching his neighbors – and only shows interest when they are having problems.
Things For Hipsters To Look For:
- How the opening montage communicates where Jeff is at in his life right now, and who he is, without any dialogue.
- How Hitchcock relates Jeff and Lisa to Mr. and Mrs. Thorwald
- It’s very important to listen to what Jeff says and what shots accompany them afterwards. Mrs. Thorwald and Lisa even bare a resemblance.
Things for Hipsters to Beware Of:
- Small dogs.
- When given the option, you should always fall in love and marry Grace Kelly
- Jimmy Stewart spying on Miss Torso. It’s weird and creepy to think of all American Jimmy Stewart in that way.
- Remakes of this film…*shudders*
Things Hipsters Will Do After Watching This Movie:
- Move into a Greenwich village apartment
- Keep flashbulbs on them at all times
Quotes to sum up the movie:
Thelma Ritter by far has the best lines in the whole film. Perhaps the one that really defines the movie though is this:
“We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms. People ought to get outside and look in at themselves.”
- The largest set at Paramount at the time, the courtyard was set 20 to 30 feet below stage level, and some of the buildings were the equivalent of five or six stories high
- While shooting, Hitch worked only in Jeff’s “apartment.” The actors in other apartments wore flesh-colored earpieces so that he could radio his directions to them.
- All the apartments in Thorwald’s building had electricity and running water, and could be lived in.
- Hitch supposedly hired Raymond Burr to play Lars Thorwald because he could be easily made to look like his old producer David Selznick, who Hitch felt interfered too much.
- Hitch makes his cameo in the songwriter’s apartment, winding his clock.