Flippin Sweet Dude

December 1, 2014


Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 12:27 pm

Amedeus was an epic film, as it was epically long and painful. While I’m sure that there was many historically significant events, I am not a history buff and don’t know what it based on truth or not. I’m sure some music majors and historians would like to view the film, perhaps just once in their lives, however the potential audience for really enjoying the content of this film must be extremely narrow. I do find classical music very enjoyable, and the time period is interesting, however the making of a 3 hour movie for his life is a bit of a stretch.

One element that I found very interesting was the way that the story was presented. The use of Antonio Salieri’s retelling of his life was a great way to present the storyline. This allowed us to view his emotion, in the way he told the story on screen, as well as the perspective of the other actors playing out the scenes. This dual perspective gave added voice to the presentation, and gave us a type of stereo vision, allowing us to understand it much better. The switching from Salieri’s first hand dialog, to the long scenes of the events allowed for better attention span, as well as broke up the story into logical pieces, making it a bit easier to comprehend what was going on though the story.

The basic storyline of the film is the telling of the lifespan of Mozart through Salieri’s point of view. We start with Antonio, in a mental hospital of some kind, telling of Mozart’s early childhood. We learn of his music skills as a prodigy, as his father drags him all over showing off his talent. As he matures, he ends up working for many folks, composing music and full operas. His relationship with his father sours, and eventually becomes a problem for his wife as well. His appetite for women, poor financial planning and spending, and not following social norms causes friction between his employers and wife for most of his life. His father passes away, which is clearly a tough time for Mozart. Salieri secretly hires Mozart to write his (Mozart’s) own funeral march, and plans to knock off Mozart at some point.

As I watched this film, I’m unsure why Mozart’s laugh, which was peppered throughout the entire dialogue, was so obnoxious and painful. His emotional and witty laugh was unusual at first, and even playful in parts of the show, however after 3 hours of hearing the laugh, it was clear that he was insane. It was unclear what point this was making, if Mozart really did have this crazy laugh, and it was trying to be historically accurate, or if this was a tool to show Mozarts playfulness, immaturity, unpredictability or instability. This film was dialogue driven and as it was broken up with scenes from opera’s you could still feel the animosity between Salieri and Mozart even when they weren’t communicating directly. I did find the music enjoyable and really had no idea how many pieces Mozart had composed that I have heard before.

At the end of the film you see the priest who is supposed to be there to absolve Salieri of his sins is overcome with the story he has just heard. Salieri points out that it was in fact God who took Mozart away and let him continue living for 32 years full of mediocrity. Salieri claims he is the Saint of Mediocrity and can absolve all the mediocre souls out there. His obsession with Mozart has ended up taking away what joy he could have had in life. This was a unique film that I will probably never watch again.

November 24, 2014


Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , , — erika @ 8:46 pm

Nostalghia is a foreign film written in Italian by a Russian director. I had a hard time deciding what was actually going on in the film, between reading the subtitles fast enough to understanding the plot of the film. This is not a dialogue based film, it relies greatly on other background sounds in the film and lack of sound. In fact to me, I felt that the actors were constantly “breaking the fourth wall” while talking. You couldn’t always see they were talking to someone because they were the only one in the shot and sometimes I thought they may actually be talking to themselves while looking at the camera. That made the editing for me seem really disjointed. I understood that Andrei was from Russia and was visiting Italy to research a Russian composer who lived in Italy for a while. I didn’t understand why it was so intriguing to the other characters to know he was from Russia doing research.

The lighting in the film changed from feeling stark black and white to having some color come through in certain scenes, like when Eugenia is in the hall and Andrei tells her she is beautiful, you can really tell that she has red hair. There were plenty of instances where the camera would be a medium close up and then it would pull focus and move farther away helping you to see just how far away someone was or making it seem they were really lost in thought. When Andrei is talking to Domenico the scene changes multiple times making you wonder if you are still in him dilapidated home or outside. The images were not always clear when you would move to a different scene and it would take a deliberate amount of time to come into focus and really let you know what you were looking at.

The sounds and music in the film were not comforting to me in any way. They seemed harsh and at some times I thought it sounded like a circular saw going off in the background which was grating on my nerves. It was hard for me to follow and completely know when the characters were reminiscing about their lives and what was currently happening. The film seemed to jump back and forth from the past to the present. I think Andrei was homesick for his wife and children, but wasn’t very proactive in getting back home soon. I want to know where the dog fits in. The dog seemed to be in past and present scenes and in both Domenico’s and Andre’s dreams. I don’t know what his specific importance was though.

In the final scenes where Domenico was preaching and shouting the ramblings of a madman, most of the other people in the scene were stationary and I felt that they were statues. It was as if he was invisible to them, but it also felt like time was standing still for everyone else. It was a very dramatic ending with him pouring fuel on himself and lighting himself on fire. The one man on the ground that mimicked his actions made me wonder if he was part of Domenicos imaginings of what he was to do next. Why do we not see what exactly happens to Andrei as he finally makes it across the bath with the lighted candle? We just hear a thud making me assume that he dies too, not returning home to his family. Then you end the film with Andrei sitting on the ground with his home in Russia behind him as the focus is pulled through again and makes it look farther away and his home is left in between the streets of Italy.

November 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 7:50 pm

There are many Marvel movies that I really like to watch, but Guardians of the Galaxy was not one of them. Maybe it’s because I didn’t understand where this movie was supposed to go. Maybe it was because you have to read the comic books so that you have a better knowledge about what the movie should be about. I was not a big fan of this movie. Let’s start with the beginning. This movie starts with Peter Quill, a young boy with a dying mother. His mother dies and he runs from the hospital crying with a present she told him to open when she is gone. He collapses on the hill and is promptly abducted by a space ship. What??? Where did that come from? Fast forward 25 years and you have a man who likes to steal objects and sell them on the black market in the galaxy to anyone who will offer the best price. He also has no qualms about turning on those he should be working with.

I usually enjoy the genre of science fiction, but this one left me wondering what the plot really was and feelings of confusion thinking that the general theme seem to change. I took my teenage sons to this movie and they asked me what the point of the movie was supposed to be. I thought they just liked going to movies for the action, who knew my picking apart and analysis of movies was going to rub off on the whole family. Peter Quill, who wants to be known as Star Lord, has not instilled in me a sense of the protagonist in the movie that I want to root for. He seems more like the loner kid who just hasn’t grown up and wanted to know why he was kidnapped and what he is doing in the galaxy. The only memento that he holds onto is the tape walkman (that yes, I had as a kid) with the tape that his mom made him of 80’s music. Keeping the movie real to when you see Peter first as a kid in the late 1980’s. I had a feeling that the movie was stuck in a cycle of continuing to be in the “all is lost” phase of the movie beats.

I did however, enjoy the special effects in this movie. You have the computer generated walking, talking, raccoon named Rocket, and Groot the humanoid tree creature with the limited vocabulary of “I am Groot”. Groot kept being left out in decisions and the discussion of splitting the money that could be made, but I found myself wanting him to go farther and succeed. He was the creature I wanted to win and root for. I enjoyed the part towards the end where Groot saves them all by growing around them with the sparkling little lights around him. You knew he was going to sacrifice himself for the group. This movie did stay true to the thought that there are many different kinds of races out in the galaxy waiting for us to know and have relationships with. I was frustrated hearing at the end that the group that kidnapped him knows who his father is and was supposed to bring him to his father. I’m sure there will be a sequel that I won’t care if I go see.

November 17, 2014

The Cove

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 7:09 pm

The Cove is a cinema verite documentary about saving the dolphins. It starts with the characters saying they tried to gain this footage and information legally, but you get the feeling there will be some covert action to gain this information. Especially with the effects in the beginning showing places in black and white with music that sounds like it comes from a spy movie. Then you have Ric O’Barry talking to Louie Psihoyos in a car in Taijii, Japan. As they enter this town you have the sense that they love dolphins in all of the advertising and ships they have in this town. Ric quickly sets you straight that this is the front of what he is determined to find out for sure what goes on in this little cove off the ocean. He is followed and questioned by the police because they don’t like him digging around. In the first few scenes I got the impression that he was a little crazy and fanatical talking about how if the Japanese fisherman could catch him they would kill him.

You then find out that Ric O’Barry is the one who made the television show Flipper a reality. He caught the dolphins for this show and became a renowned dolphin trainer. You hear the music from the 1964 television show of Flipper. Flipper was a tv show about a dolphin who would help the people of the town, kind of like Lassie. This gave people the idea that dolphins were smart and trainable and this could be turned into big money. After the show ends one of the dolphins that played Flipper dies in his arms and this turns his view of capturing dolphins for captivity upside down. He is arrested the next day for trying to free dolphins in captivity.

This documentary filmmaker plays many roles in this one film. They are the explorer, the reporter, an advocate and they even employ the use of guerrilla tactics to get the footage needed to tell their side of the story. They do an excellent job of keeping the audience asking the burning question of what happens to the dolphins in the cove they bring in on a daily basis? Every time you think you might get that question answered, they are chased away by the fishermen or official authorities. No one want to talk about what happens in the cove, which leads the viewer to be even more curious as to what is really happening. Deep down though I knew what was happening, but I continued to watch hoping my fears would not be true. They are being killed and they have to disguise the meat to be sold as something else to cover up the fact that dolphins contain too much mercury to be eaten. Their meat has a toxic level of mercury in it, but no one wants to acknowledge this or be held accountable.

You could tell that this film held a personal interest to all who were involved in it. They really loved what they were doing and were willing to go to jail for it. The dramatic potential for the film was there as you watched them try to go in and covertly set up cameras and sound equipment. With the gear and technology they were using it made you feel you were watching a special ops mission. There may be critics as to how they received their information, but you could tell that going through the “proper channels” was getting them nowhere. You don’t see too much of the other side of the story, but I didn’t feel it was so much a lack of them trying to ask questions and get answers. They just really didn’t want what they were doing to get out to the rest of the world. The visuals at the end where the water turns red with all of the blood was a little overwhelming to me. I was emotionally invested by this point and it was not a humane way to kill these dolphins. You don’t have to agree with me, but I don’t see how killing these dolphins is helping anyone. They are needed in the marine ecosystem and we as humans do much more damage to our world than these marine mammals could do.

November 10, 2014

Chariots of Fire

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 9:43 pm

Well this film took me three tries before I actually finished it without dozing off. The pace of the film just didn’t keep me interested long enough before I would start to get bored. Not that it was a bad film, just not what I am used to watching. I have found a love for running myself, so you would think it would keep my interest. I know this film is based on a true story and did enjoy watching the characters struggle with their beliefs and what they loved to do, RUN.

You have to remember the time period this is based on also, otherwise you look at the clothing, atmosphere, speech and way of life and laugh. Watching Harold Abrahams run and go after everything in life with his cocky attitude expecting to get everything he ever goes after was like being back in high school and seeing all of the athletes get their special treatment. I really enjoyed when Eric beat him and he finally had to deal with losing. I think it helped his character develop some sympathy from us as the audience. He didn’t always get everything he wanted now and it made him seem more real and human. He was so upset and Cybill had to help him realize that he shouldn’t wallow in self pity, but should pick himself up and try again. He wants so badly to beat Eric in the Olympics, not knowing that he would not get the chance due to Eric’s beliefs. He has to prove himself to the world, but more importantly to himself that he can run and win.

Watching Eric trying to balance his love of God and running was very interesting. He had the approach of knowing God wanted him to be a missionary and preach his word. He also knew that God had given him a talent of being fast. He wanted so badly to try for the Olympics and prove this before he went back to being a missionary. Seeing him struggle with knowing that the qualifying heat for his race was to be held on Sunday and that this was the day God wanted him to set aside for him was interesting. I was glad he held true to his beliefs and wouldn’t even let the Prince of Wales, or the rest of the committee to sway him away from his values. When Lord Lyndsey lets him take his place in the upcoming 400m race it made his character connect with the audience better as well. I enjoyed watching him run the race in the Olympics and seeing him smile knowing he hasn’t let himself or God down by his decision.

All in all the pacing of this film was too slow for me. The time passing between races and training was sometimes boring. I know that there needed to be background stories presented to make the whole film flow, but I think it could have been done a little quicker. I sometimes think that when films are based off true stories then they can drag on because they are trying to be accurate in the account.

November 3, 2014

The Conversation

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 5:11 pm

The Conversation is a film made in 1974 about surveillance technology and the moral dilemmas one faces when using this technology. Honestly the movie moved too slow for me as I had a hard time staying awake in it. I find it interesting that it is categorized as a thriller because of its slow pace. I guess I am more into the fast paced, action thrillers when it comes to this particular type of movie. It did however give me a better understanding about sound design in a film.

This film starts with a scene in the middle of a city courtyard that has a variety of activities going on and it is lunch time. There is an overwhelming amount of ambient sound, there is also music and other sound effects. Harry is trying to record a conversation of this couple who are constantly walking around in circles because they think this will help them not be able to be recorded. This was more accurate in the time this film was made. They had one guy wired and casually following them around. One on the roof of a building with a microphone attached to a scope to follow them and another in a building. You could hear a lot of disjointed sounds that were supposed to be interference and feedback along with just the other sounds of chaos in the background. When he starts to go through the recordings in his lab, he is able to adjust the interference and take out the background noises in order to get a clearer recording of just the conversation between this couple.

Harry is just an ordinary man who records and does surveillance work to make a living. He doesn’t care what the people say or who he works for as long as he gets paid. His friends and colleagues question his ethics and moral character when they start discussing what has happened to some of the people he has done surveillance on. This gets him started to think that maybe he has played a role in some of these people’s death. He decides to destroy his current tapes because he doesn’t want any connection to this couple being harmed. He dreams about telling the woman that she is not safe and about some of his struggles growing up. The tapes are stolen and given to the director who ordered the surveillance and he realizes that the woman he has recorded is the wife of the director. You can see the turmoil in his actions and facial expressions of what harm may come to her.

As Harry decides he has listened to this recording so many times he knows that this Sunday there is something big going down. He wants to do the right thing, but ends up in a room next to the one in question. He tries to listen to what is going on and when it is clear that someone is being harmed in the next room, he has a mental breakdown. He knows it is partly his fault. He turns the TV on, closes the curtains and crawls into bed pulling the covers and pillows up over his head. He doesn’t call the police or leave. The music gets all distorted in this part with the high pitched psycho killer sounds. Then back to a static sounding TV with the Flintstones on it. The couple he records are the actual killers and they know that he knows. He is given a warning at the end to stay out of it, along with a recording of him in his apartment. This throws him into a spiral of tearing his whole apartment apart trying to find out how they are surveilling him. I spent a lot of time listening to the sounds in this film, trying to pick apart what sound went to what type of sounds there are in films. I think this film gives good examples of sound design, even if it was a slow movie for me.

October 20, 2014

Waking Ned Devine

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , , — erika @ 9:26 pm

I must say that I needed a more uplifting and comedic movie to watch and Waking Ned Devine fulfilled both of those requirements for me. The fact that it was a more current film than the others I have recently been watching was fun too. Even though it is set in a small rural town in Ireland, it had the feel of a close knit community, where everyone knew everyone’s secrets. I really enjoyed the comedic relief throughout the movie. From the beginning when Jackie wants his apple tart so he pretends to have the winning lotto ticket to get his wife to bring it to him while watching tv, to the riding of the motorcycle naked to get back to Ned’s house in time to impersonate him. The plot of winning the lottery and dying from the shock of it was funny in and of itself, but for Jackie and Michael to get it in their heads that they deserved to split the winnings because otherwise it would go to waste just launches them into this crazy scheme.

It takes talent to set up a scene for a comedy, showing small hints and clues throughout the movie and waiting for the perfect payoff. For example, the fact that the lotto guy sneezes when in the country helps identify him at the funeral so that no one slips up, but the best payoff is when he sneezes and almost hits the phone booth with the mean “witch” town lady in it in order to cause the priest of the town returning from a trip to be the one who actually sends her to her death. What a twist of fate. Who knew that a sneeze would end up causing so much trouble.

Jackie is the main protagonist and he also finds himself in the position of power most often on the screen. His initial thought to claim the money for himself and share with his best friend Michael is what starts them down this road. But his wife Annie has her say also and she holds the position of power when it counts and helps Jackie see that it would be better to share the money with the whole town instead of ending up in prison for fraud. She points out to Jackie that Michael is a good man who has never told a lie and wouldn’t last a day in prison and that Jackie should be ashamed of himself for making him a part of his scheme.

One of the other underlying plots in the movie is the romance between Maggie and Finn the pig farmer. She claims to love him, but can’t get over him smelling like the pigs he keeps. Finn is positive that her son Maurice is his and that the boy needs his father to be in the picture to raise him. In the end she agrees to be with him now that he is “stinking rich” with the money the town is splitting 52 ways as long as he still gets rid of the pigs. But the real twist is when she admits to Jackie that Maurice is the son of Ned Devine, whose winning lottery ticket and his death has changed the whole town. It is still more important for her to let Finn think he is the father and that they can be together. I really did enjoy all of the plot twists in this film and think it was done rather well.


Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , , , — erika @ 5:06 pm

I haven’t watched Jaws since I was a kid and it was showing on television. I must say that when this film came out, the special effects were awesome for the time and technology. I was and still am to a certain extent terrified to swim or be in the ocean due to the fear instilled in me as a child of man eating sharks in the water. The scenes when you see Jaws, the great white shark, come out of the water with mouth open wide ready to devour everything in his path were very real to me as a kid. Watching it now, I can see that it is not real and was a mechanical shark. You could not have convinced me of that as a kid, but as you can compare it to what can be done with graphics and editing I do see a difference now. The cinematography for this movie was done in a way to help the story flow and most times now when I watch any film, it there are any underwater shots of people swimming or playing in the water I find myself wondering when the shark attack will be. That is part of the setting up of the shots in this movie showing us as the viewer where the action will be coming from, down below the surface of the ocean. The director does a good job at showing you a conversation of the little boy pleading with his mother for just 10 more minutes of play in the water. Then he goes and grabs the yellow floatation device and heads out to the water. Everyone else is just playing and splashing around, so the focus is on this one child floating and splashing. Add to that the iconic music of the two off sounding notes that always lead to the shark attacking and you find yourself on the edge of your seat thinking, get out of the water all of you crazy people. How do they not know the shark attack is about to happen.

When movies can play on our own real life fears it makes them seem more real and you become sucked into the suspension of disbelief. Even though logically, I can tell myself that this shark can’t break up a boat that size, my fear of sharks in general helps to fuel this film into more of a reality than it is. The music is well known and you would have to have lived under a rock to not know that da dum, da dum, da dum sound means you are going to be shark food. The fact that this shark keeps coming back after being harpooned, shot, stabbed and many other things is now when I see it jumping out of reality for me. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the nature I think they have. I think once it eats someone, it’s not going to turn right around looking for another person, but that is just my opinion. I did enjoy the finale as Jaws comes charging towards the boat with the tank in his mouth, knowing full well that this is going to end explosively. My favorite line being “Smile, you son of a bitch” as the police chief fires his gun and the shark explodes magnificently. Now the threat has been neutralized and the waters are safe once again. Of course you really can’t convince my mind of that, therefore, to this day I still will only dip my toes in the ocean water.

October 13, 2014


Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 9:51 am

Ben-Hur is an epic film based off of historical Roman Empire taking over the world and is also Biblical with the story of Jesus Christ being born and providing miracles. I have watched this movie before, but this time it was to really look at how big a production of an epic film can be. I can’t begin to imagine how much time it took to design and make all of the costumes, let alone make so many, due to the number of extras and people in the films big scenes. This film opens with a biblical depiction of the birth of Jesus Christ, most Christians refer to this as the Nativity Scene. They were trying to help us see just what time period this film was to portray. Then it pretty much jumps into the story of Judah Ben-Hur, who is a very wealthy Jew and is excited that the Roman boy he grew up with is coming back to town. Messala comes back to play a role in the Roman Empire taking over the middle east. Messala shows just how difficult it is to not conform and do what the Romans want when Judah is sentenced to the galleys because of some loose tile that falls off of his roof when the new Roman governor arrives in town. It doesn’t matter that it was an accident and he is a friend of Messala. The whole family is imprisoned.

As he marches along all chained up across the desert, Judah is refused water when they stop along the way. A man (who we find out is Jesus) gives him water anyway and this is his turning point of not letting this false imprisonment be his defeat. I think that making the props for the galleys of the ships would have been hard. This was the believable piece showing them rowing in the belly of the ship to the beat of the drum. When I watched the ships on top of the water as they fought it was less believable to me because they really looked fake to me. They used wider shots to help them look more real, but I just wasn’t buying it. The wide panoramic shots of the Roman soldiers marching into the towns did however help me to picture the span of the Roman Empire’s arm.

You can’t write about Ben-Hur, without mentioning the memorable chariot race scene. This was my favorite part of the film, with the protagonist Judah being able to face his betrayer, Messala. The enormity of the whole scene is just mind blowing. Making big statues, shooting in a large colosseum, with thousands of people. Watching them go around the track seems like it would be boring, but seeing all of the mishaps with chariots and people getting run over and dragged behind horses was very real for me. This film takes a long time telling its story and the chariot race added the much needed action for me, when I was starting to lose interest. The filmmakers did a good job with the colors in this film. When I think of the Middle East, I picture deserts and dusty clothes. When we talk about the Romans, we think of their flowing white robes with sashes of red with the Emperor wearing the royal color of purple. This is how they are depicted in history, so they continued with this in the film. For the most part I liked this film, it was really long and the story kind of dragged in some spots with the dialogue for me. I’m glad I didn’t sit down and watch this all in one sitting.

September 29, 2014

Singin’ In The Rain

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 10:45 am

I have watched many musicals, but Singin’ In The Rain is one of my favorites. After watching it again I find myself humming or singing along to the music even hours later. The tunes are catchy and stick with you. One of the reasons I enjoy musical films so much is that they are usually a romantic story with plenty of song and dance. I don’t have to concentrate so much on what might happen next. It has been a while since I watched this film, so it was fun to remember the story line behind all of the singing and dancing. This film came out in 1952, but portrays the late 1920’s, when film was beginning to change. The change from silent films with words posted on screen intermittently giving you a brief sense of what is going on to the talking movies or “talkies”. To actually have words instead of music playing was a big deal.

I think this movie does a good job at portraying what I think would have been some of the big obstacles to overcome in transitioning from silent to talking movies. They actually had to have a better story and script to read to keep the audience entertained. You couldn’t just repeat the line “I love you, I love you, I love you.” over and over again because no one talks like that in real life and so talking in a movie became more about the whole story and not just a scene acted out with a brief explanation of what was really going on. I’m sure they really did have actors and actresses that did a good job acting, but had annoying voices that were like nails scraping down a blackboard. We have all had the experience of talking to someone over the phone and then meeting them in person and what we pictured in our heads is not what they look like in person. I can only imagine the headache I’m sure it was to start using such big audio microphones that unless you spoke directly into it the sound was not picked up. Then there is the task of making sure that the audio and video played together and were synchronized. When the lips don’t match the sound it make for comic disaster.

I like how Kathy meets Don in the film and could care less about him being a famous movie star and telling him if you’ve seen one of his films, you’ve seen them all. This showed how well we know the fact that the same movies keep getting produced with a different scene, time and small twist to the plot. I have always liked watching musicals, they would make me sit back and think “wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to sing and dance on a stage.” Too bad that I hate to get up and perform in any way in front of a crowd. But I can always sit back and watch a musical and have the same nostalgic feelings of “I wish I could…” I like how the story can flow back and forth with the music, dancing and narration of the story. The story/plot never seems to be too twisted or deep with a musical. I like the feel of a simple romance with a few obstacles, but happily ever after in the end. These types of movies remind me of my childhood because they are a few of the ones I was allowed to watch that didn’t have too much “mature adult content”. Now that I am done reminiscing about Singin’ in the Rain, I am still humming the tunes to myself. :)

September 22, 2014

Rear Window

Filed under: Films — Tags: , , , — erika @ 8:50 pm

I have watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window a few times and enjoy the way his films are so different from what I now watch. He has a unique way of building tension or suspense in a film. It is not the usual dramatic music or edge of your seat suspense, but it can still make your heart speed up while hoping the innocent people get out of harms way fast enough. Hitchcock doesn’t use a lot of music in the background. You will hear the whistling of a bird, a dog barking, someone playing the piano or the nagging wife. This leaves your brain free to concentrate solely on what is really happening in the picture. When you hear the woman scream you are shown a shot of the courtyard where nothing seems amiss. It isn’t until almost an hour later that you see his neighbor Mr. Thorwald leave his home at 2 am with a silver briefcase. It is pouring rain and he comes and goes a few time through the night leading Jeffries’ and us as the viewers to assume what has happened. His wife was always nagging him and we assume that he finally had enough and murdered her.

In this particular film, the whole film can be seen from the “rear window” of L.B. Jeffries’ apartment. This overlooks a courtyard filled with many other rear windows of many other apartments. Jeffries is a photographer recovering from an accident which has put him in a wheelchair for the last seven weeks. He has nothing better to do with his time than to watch all of his neighbors through their windows and get a peek at what they do in a day. Most of us would consider this being a peeping tom. I can say we are curious human beings and will listen or watch when the opportunities present itself. (not that it is right) Jeffries’ takes it to a different level when he starts using his binoculars and camera lens to get a better picture. He starts to stereotype all of his neighbors based on what he can see. Because this film has such a compact set and scene, Hitchcock is able to show us an entire film based on one character’s point of view. This makes the directing style “subjective” because we only see what Jeffries’ sees, whether it is in his own apartment or out in the courtyard. We are focused on his opinion and the script revolves around his observations. Even when one of the neighbors finds her dog dead she end up addressing the whole courtyard about how they should all be better neighbors and look after one another. This puts Jeffries’ back on the trail that Thorwald killed his wife because he had to be the one that killed the dog for digging around in his flowers.

I am not sure that this film would be as much of a success today as it was when it came out in theaters. I think we have become a fast paced society that wants lots of action and keeps us on the edge of our seats when it comes to suspense thrillers or mysteries. This film doesn’t move fast enough for that and I enjoy seeing a story from multiple points of view. I do like this movie and have watched many of Hitchcock’s movies just to see older films and how this genre has evolved over the years.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress