Rear Window (1954)
Food: After a couple of glasses of red wine on the roof to ring in the start of spring, the only reasonable follow up is a Seamless order of sushi and edamame. Alaska roll, Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, and a Salmon Avocado Roll from M&J Asian Cuisine was just the ticket.
Film: Rear Window is quite simply a masterpiece. Alfred Hitchcock expertly takes an uncomplicated plot and executes it with so many creative and layered choices that, despite taking place in one location the entire time, it becomes one of the most dynamic and introspective films of it’s time.
The set is incredibly constructed, and this gives way to a series of subplots which are baked into the film in such a subtle manner that one fails to realize just how invested they are in these side characters until the events are heightened. Each slice of life piece is palpable and mesmerizing, from Miss Lonely Hearts, Miss Torso, Piano Man to the strange couple that sleeps outside, it feels like watching a doll house come to life. The limited viewpoint captured so precisely leaves you wanting more – a slow and steady suspense that makes this movie stand out over most other thrillers to date. Speaking to mans tendency towards voyeurism, the plot is used brilliantly as a vehicle to connect to the audience for when the body is confined, two legs become eyes from which one must navigate. No surprise here, that Alfred Hitchcock came up with an ingenious story to tell. However, it is worth mentioning that Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly deliver excellent performances here, as a frustrated couple. Stewarts, L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies, is a stubborn and pretentious world traveling photographer who deems his girlfriend, Lisa Carol Fremont (Kelly), as a vapid fashionista whom he could never marry because he is convinced she would never be able to handle the lifestyle he desires to live. Stuck to his chair, bored and with a broken leg, he is forced not only to entertain himself by peeping at the lives of his fellow neighbors, he is also forced to see Lisa prove herself in ways that he would never have allowed under different circumstances, and, perhaps, begin to question his strong-held assumptions.
I really just cannot get enough of this film. L.B. Jefferies being the great photographer that he is, looks for a living. Lisa begs for his attention, interrupting his gaze to look at her – and interrupts ours as well. His hilarious and chatty nurse, Stella, scolds him for his behavior, and scolds us as well. We are seeing what he sees, remembering what he remembers, and we are forced to hang onto every small lingering camera movement, for just one more moment… just one more glimpse.