Rear window reflexivity relationship

Rear Window and Reflexivity | Feminism and Film

rear window reflexivity relationship

As Stam and Pearson put it in Hitchcock's Rear Window: Reflexivity and . Jeffries maintains his comfortable relationship as voyeuristic witness. Rear Window and Reflexivity → In the Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window, gender role stereotypes are fulfilled This display of gender roles is best understood through the appreciation of the relationship between the main. Hitchcock's own cameo in Rear Window reminds us of his controlling role when he appears in the In this sense the gaze is a relationship of seduction, and the film is what draws it in, luring it by its .. Reflexivity and the Critique of Voyeurism.

Though in this film, several of the characters seem to be crossing the gender barrier. For instance, as previously mentioned Lisa who while stunning and glamorous is also successful and demanding, characteristic normally seen in devious women.

Also, she remains independent although seemingly tamed by her relationship with Jeffries.

rear window reflexivity relationship

Another bold lady, Mrs. Thorwald, is not as fortunate. Thorwald or Lisa himself. In fact, he could barely protect himself from Mr. Thorwald as he assaulted him in his own apartment. Lisa after seeing the flashes from his camera, comes with the police to rescue him.

rear window reflexivity relationship

Like Jeff the audience cannot step into the story. Hitchcock actually did this through his cameo. Jeff is always the observant of the story like the audience is observing.

Rear Window and Gender Roles | Feminism and Film

In some ways Jeff does control what the audience sees, but he cannot fully interact with his story. However, what I also liked that in a way some characters were aware of the camera. Stella, Lisa and at some point Thorwald know that Jeff is watching. Another scholar Clifford Manlove addressed this as the reversed gaze. The returning of the gaze suddenly makes Jeff part of the story.

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He is not merely directing it or watching it. He is becoming part of it. In a sense, this loss creates an identity gap, or hole, within the viewer.

One might again consider the mechanical apparatus of film; still frames separated by holes. Film is the gaps and spaces filled by the viewer and—particularly in the Hitchcock film—the film mirrors itself back in the spectator by creating a similar gap, or loss, within us.

Our own identity comes to seem only to exist in the flickering spaces between different temporal moments. Thus, the viewer has again become similar to the film which is literally punched with holesmirroring the very holes that had previously drawn it seductively and unknowingly in.

Voyeurism In Hitchcock Rear Window —

In viewing a film on a normal television set, consider the appearance of the screen itself: During the scene transitions, which create a temporary blackout on the screen, the audience is literally reflected in the surface of the screen.

They see themselves viewing themselves. The same is true when they see the characters. The most obvious mirroring between audience and film is the spectator and Jefferies: Just as Jefferies watches the world around him, the audience watches the film.

The repressed urges and thoughts that surface cause the viewer to fall into a state of confusion and anxiety. The audience is unprotected as a savage, subject to great ancestral fears. Surrender coherent identity, defenselessness, subjection to ancestral fears, and irrational anxiety can only build with every doubling in the mirror. The audience is suspended in an unconscious state between awareness that they are watching a movie and losing themselves in a movie.

Suspense in this context is thus a feeling of being suspended between two identities, one as voyeur and one as active participant. However, his manipulation hardly stops there. Although Hitchcock seeks to manipulate anxiety within the spectator, and agrees that all the world goes a little mad sometimes, it would be a cruel gesture indeed to suspend without letting the viewer down at the end of the film.

Humor in this case allows for the cathartic release of identity anxiety related tension through laughter. Comedy in Hitchcock movies is therefore a key part of the suspense cycle insofar as it serves to re-establish a coherent sense of identity. After all, humor is most effective when the audience is already in an aroused state.

In a state of suspense, then, the spectator is more likely to find the film humorous, leading to laughter.

Voyeurism In Hitchcock Rear Window

Thus, arousal—achieved through an initial seduction and the identity-related anxiety that attends it—allows laughter to take place. This laughter performs a variety of functions. In a biological sense, it serves an evolutional purpose. The most basic physical response of laughter relaxes the body and lulls it back into a state of ease from a state of suspense. In considering the atmosphere while watching a movie in a group setting, the sound of laughter from others also serves a purpose.

Viewing a movie is a communal activity, and laughter reassures the community that there is truly nothing to fear. The combined biological and evolutionary purposes of laughter reassure an audience that induced anxieties present no real danger to the self. This reassurance allows for another theory of humor, that of the Release Theory. And this mission is cathartic. Thus, humor serves as a method for reducing the anxieties he had originally created within the spectator. In order to reduce these anxieties, the holes that were created within the viewer must be filled.

The viewer must become whole again, outside of the world of the film. The presence of laughter physically fills holes within the human body; blood is pumped into the lungs, filling it with air that is then pushed outward to fill the mouth with the sound of laughter. Holes are literally filled during the laughing process. But crucially, laughter also simultaneously allows the spectator to re-establish his or her separate identity. It is the sign that they are disassociating themselves from an original identification.

By noticing these differences, the spectator can once again look at the film as a distanced object without fear of identification Sousa It reaffirms their worth as an individual who not only is distinct from but better than the individual that they may have been identifying with initially.

The masculine is stereotypically considered the superior gaze, while the feminine is more passive in its viewing of a film.

Given the Superiority Theory of humor, it would be necessary for this gaze to persist in order for the spectator to find the moments of potential humor based on superiority effective in their ability to create laughter in an audience.

Otherwise, a female gaze into the film might be unable to laugh at a masculine character. To Lisa, these shared qualities between all of humankind are proof that there is not that much difference between people, including gender, when it comes to the simpler things in life.

Perhaps laughter, then, is the great equalizer in an audience watching a comedy. Humor cannot be viewed in terms of an aggressive masculine or passive feminine gaze. Another potential problem with the Superiority Theory of humor is that differences in moral behavior, as is necessary for the theory to function successfully, are not always present at the time of laughter. Frequently in movies we are also able to laugh at characters even when we respect them and consider them moral role models.

rear window reflexivity relationship

The person laughing realizes that, because of these minor differences, there is no true threat to identity. The tension is released.

  • Rear Window and Reflexivity
  • Rear Window and Gender Roles

Jefferies solves the mystery of the murder by noticing an incongruity between two representations. This of course can be related to the spectator solving the mystery of his or her own identity by noticing similar incongruities.