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Discuss the narrative techniques used by Hitchcock to set the scene for the audience in 'Rear Window'.

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Introduction

Discuss the narrative techniques used by Hitchcock to set the scene for the audience in 'Rear Window'. Stuart Graham 10W1 L.B. Jeffries is a high-class magazine photographer for what seems to be a worldwide publication. In Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window', he is a temporarily wheelchair-bound man and his voyeuristic side appears later on in the film. 'Rear Window' depicts a 20th century New York in which fraudsters, murderers and salesmen all live alongside each other. The story describes a man who broke his leg during a photography assignment. He is, for the time being, stuck in a wheelchair with nothing to do but look at the neighbours through his 'Rear Window'. He hasn't seen the light of day since seven weeks ago. Rear Window is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most memorable films. L.B. Jeffries becomes engrossed in voyeurism, which carries on throughout the film. James Stewart, in one of his most unforgettable roles, represents a photographer with a broken leg, who amuses himself by casually spying on the neighbours. All of the windows he peers into presents a glimpse of relationships, in which the men and women are poles-apart, the newlyweds who can't get themselves off of each other, the crooked salesman, the forlorn musician. ...read more.

Middle

Alfred Hitchcock puts the viewers in the position of L.B Jeffries, making us all voyeurs. The camera is used to tell the story, as there is very little dialogue in the film. Throughout nearly all of the film, only one shot is used to tell the story, there are very few cuts. By doing it this way, Hitchcock is showing us exactly what the character is seeing. The cast of Rear Window includes Jimmy Stewart, the lovely Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr. As the story unfolds, the character's identities are revealed. Jimmy Stewart plays a wheelchair-confined photographer, LB Jeffries, who is trapped inside his apartment day after day with nothing to do but watch his neighbours attentively through the rear window of his apartment. Stella, Thelma Ritter plays Jeffries' insolent nurse. Together they talk about the life of Mr. Jeffries and his gorgeous girlfriend, Lisa Carol Fremont, played by Grace Kelly, whom he does not want to marry. While in the care of Stella, she notices that Jeffries has taken a liking to watching the neighbours with great captivation. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Hitchcock wants to create a jovial mood, he uses the correct music. If he wants to create a creepy mood, he will use slightly eerie music. Conversation in the film is rare. Because Hitchcock uses mise-en-scene to set the right mood and atmosphere, there is very little dialogue needed. The first and one of three or four pieces of conversation is at the start, when L.B. Jeffries receives a phone call from his boss. From just a ninety-second phone call, we learn a substantial amount about the characters in the film. From this call, we learn that L.B. Jeffries is a magazine photographer and that he had broken his leg on a big assignment. There is a big photography assignment that Jeffries would benefit financially substantially from; he cannot go as he has a broken leg. Hitchcock uses the conversation on the phone in an intellectual way. When Jeffries is on the phone to his boss, talking to him about marriage, he is looking at a married couple having an argument. Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' had a great balance of suspense, mystery and romance in it. He uses the camera as a narrator and focuses on telling the story through the tremendous use of film language rather than dialogue. ...read more.

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