Essay #1 Voyeurism In both films, Rear Window and Vertigo, film director Alfred Hitchcock requires audiences to put themselves in the position of voyeur as they witness the action of the film through the eyes of the protagonists. Hitchcock introduces to us the meaning of the word voyeurism and the control it can possess over a person. The main characters in both films are voyeurs’ and get their excitement from invading others’ life. Hitchcock was an English-American film director, writer, and producer, whose distinctive style has Influenced several generations of filmmakers.
In Rear Window ND Vertigo, Jeff and Cootie’s lives are affected by voyeurism. Essentially, both men prefer to live by watching rather than live by doing. First, Jeff is a voyeur by society standards because of his actions of watching others. Haven’t we all watched or stared at another person before? Does this qualify us as voyeurs? Jeff broke one of his legs while on the job as a photographer and is now stuck inside of his apartment until he is healed. While suffering through long, hot days In his apartment, he picks up a new hobby-?spying-?wherein he learns the Intimate details of his neighbors’ lives.
Lead into quote/give context: “I’ve seen it through that window. I’ve seen bickering and family quarrels and mysterious trips at night, knives and saws and ropes, and now since last evening, not a sign of the wife. All right, now you tell me where she is… ” (Rear Window). He becomes convinced that his neighbor has murdered to his wife. Jeff spying was casual as first. He started off just using his eyes to spy and then gradually uses binoculars and then a long focus lens to get a better look.
As Jeff becomes obsessed with Otherworld, he loses sight of his own life and how he is hurting Lisa-?especially when he places her in physical danger. Lisa begins to think that Jeff is crazy for looking in on the private lives of others. Lead into quote/give context: “Sitting around looking out of the window to kill time is one thing but doing it the way you are with binoculars and wild opinions about every little thing you see is, is diseased” (Rear Window). Only when Lisa becomes an accomplice takeoffs Investigation, does Jeff begin to respect her.
Spying gives Jeff more than just something to do. “Jiffies had the curiosity about the lives of those one watches on the screen” (Howe). The excitement and thrill made him feel alive and act as a diversion from the question that Lisa wants answered-?will he commit to her! In the final scene of Rear Window, Jeff is shown facing away from the window, but now with two broken legs. Hitchcock leaves us to wonder whether he has learned his lesson, or If the feeling will return to get Involved In spying on someone.
Similarly, Hollyhock’s film, Vertigo, features a man whose former occupation consisted of prying into the lives of others. Now retired, Scottie-?a determined bachelor with few friends-?longs for something to occupy his time. He finds this distraction in his obsession with Madeline. Lead into quote/give context: “He is slowly becoming possessed by her and attracted to her, following her (or separately) going nowhere as she vanishes and reappears – he falls under her mysterious spell other and spend more and more time together” (Vertigo).
Scottie had no respect for her because his only wish was to satisfy his fantasy. TRY, Madeleine, and then later a remade Judy, are treated as possessions by Scottie. This mindset is emphasized from the opening credits as Hitchcock scans over parts of a woman instead of the whole-? suggesting that anyone with the right parts can be molded by Scottie into the perfect companion. Madeline is beautiful, yet sad and vulnerable.
Ata certain point in the film, Cootie’s spying on Madeline is Justified because he feels “responsible” for her and at that moment his spying does not seem as perverted. Not only does he feel great pleasure in watching Madeleine, but he allows himself to think that he is enforcing the law, which helps him regain his masculinity. The end of the movie reassures the established gender roles: Madeline is made to pay for her dangerous epistyle by being destroyed, and Scottie overcomes his vertigo and regains his masculinity.