305MC Screening and Seminar: Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock
Today we had a screening of Alfred Hitcock’s ‘Rear Window’ all a bout a character who watches his neighbour’s and is convinced one of them is a murderer, his watching then becomes his life, an obsession.
Today in the seminar we presented our scripts for the pro’s and con’s of the summer riots and talked more in detail about the issues there such as the glamorisation of gang crime, the classes the media picked out/on, and how as a spectacle it transported us as the riots moved from place to place we kept followed them and kept on watching. The riots also kept the public quiet and in fear, this was achieved through the media and therefore controlled us. We also spoke about there being two sides to the spectacle; whether you took part for reasons other than what it started out to be, or if you just watched and were passive.
We then had an task around the key themes of the screening in the lecture, so once again we spilt up the task between our group in order to get it done in time, answering these questions:
Q1. In todorovian terms what roles are occupied bt the following characters: Jeff (Main character), Lisa (Jeff’s girlfriend), Stella ( The nurse), and Detective Doyle. Are there any other narrative theories that can be applied?
Tzvetan Todorov spoke about the five stages within narratives where in we placed the characters;
*A state of equilibrium at the outset.
*Disruption of the equilibrium by some action.
*Recognition that there has been disruption. (Jeff)
*An attempt to repair the disruption. (Stella and Lisa)
*Reinstatement of the equilibrium. (Jeff and Doyle)
We also looked at Vladimir Propps eight character theory again placing the characters within their respective category;
*Jeff as the Hero.
*Stella as the Helper and the Donor, who provides Jeff with what he needs and aids him.
*Lisa as the Helper and the Princess, she helps Jeff and is also his reward at the end.
*Detective Doyle as the Blocker and False Hero, as he stops Jeff from looking further into the matter and yet at the end brings in his crew, saves Jeff and arrests the villain.
Q2. Where does the audience identification lie? Which character and why? Think about the Gaze theory.
The audience identification lies with the character Jeff, because we go through all the emotions with him and none of his story is left out for the audience to piece together, the film is made to force the audience on the side of Jeff, an example of this is when the police officer comes round and dismisses his claims about the neighbour being a murderer, the audience have also seen the evidence to show that the neighbour did it so we feel sorry for Jeff when no-one believes him.
‘The object is not aware of the person viewing them’ this is shown in the film through the over usage of the power shots through the camera and binoculars.
As Jonathan Schroeder notes, ‘to gaze implies more than to look at – it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze’
Q3. What do you understand by the term Scopophilia?
In fr Freudian analysis, scopophilia is the pleasure of seeing.
Taking other people as objects, subjecting them to a controlling and curious gaze. Voyeurism is the synonym for scopophilia Voyeurism is the deriving sexual gratification from observing others in secret. Pornography appeals to voyeuristic desires. The internet of web cams has created a new cultural arena of scopophilia.
Objectification and fetishism are related to scopophilia and the gaze- Objectification is the basis of ethical objections to voyeuristic practises, because it devalues the humanity of the person.
Q4. Does the film have a meta-narrative if so what is it? What does it say?
Q5. In what ways do we look or are we looked at today?
Today we live in a digital age, everything we know about each other can be found on the internet. We now have Facebook profiles, twitter accounts, YouTube channels, video channels and blogs. So essentially we see people everywhere. But with the digital devices that are at our disposal are all linked on on the internet and can be accessed anywhere by anyone, the scariest thing is that if you Google your own name you may find your own digital footprint, none of us can hide. Not to mention we are one of the most monitored countries in terms of CCTV.