Here is a quick sketch that I created in a piece of software called “Manga studio” it is pretty much the same as Photoshop but i prefer to do the lineart on it. The picture is of Guyver who is a manga character and took me about half an hour. It is in no way supposed to be a finished piece it is simply me learning the software.
Below is the same picture but with the light removed, if i was to do this picture again and spend alot more time on it i could do alot better.
Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock
Mise en Scene and Cinematography by David Kirk
The opening sequence takes place inside the main Characters apartment (Jeff), the camera is looking outside the window and as the credits roll the blinds behind are slowly raised revealing the courtyard where the action takes place. This gives the audience the impression of being at the theatre where the curtains are raised at the start. The scene opens onto a seemingly nice neighbour and a pleasant morning, this as well as the barrier of creating a theatre feel make the audience feel safe and secure.
Throughout the opening scene the camera acts as a narrative and in a short 5 minutes and with only 27 shots we are introduce to the main characters, the neighbour and the scorching weather.
The camera pans past all of the open windows, none of the curtains are fully drawn nor are the blinds closed. This demonstrates that there’s not much privacy in and around the courtyard and everyone can see everything that is going on. This opens the film to the film of voyeurism.
The camera pans downwards and you can see a young woman brushing her hair through a small window, the curtains are open and there are small potted plants creating a homely feel.
Next the camera returns to Jeff, this shows that he has a broken leg, next there is an extreme close up of the cast and on it is written “here lie the broken bones of J B Jefferies”. This is part of the mise en scene, this prop means that Jeff is in an incapacitated state where he cannot leave the apartment, and this makes him vulnerable and also sets up the story. It also tells us that Jeff has a sense of humour.
The mise en scene throughout this scene creates a real urban environment, and pictures on the walls give the apartments a very lived in feel, this creates the impression that the place is real and that the events actually happen.
In Jeff’s apartment you can see lots of camera equipment in the background; this gives the audience an indication of Jeff’s profession but also hints that he is voyeuristic in nature. The setting of Jeff’s room is significant in that it shows us his profession, his personality and his interests, this room is messy and full of men’s stuff, the furniture is dark and plain lacking a “woman’s touch” something we can tell from later on that Jeff is resisting against. With Jeff’s apartment being dark and his neighbours being well lit it continues this stylistic impression of being at a theatre.
The film begins to focus on the relationships between the characters in the different windows. When looking into people’s homes Jeff cannot hear them and so must rely on their physical interaction and demeanour with other characters. This gives the impression of watching several silent films, with silent films being claimed to be the purest form of storytelling as “actions speak louder than words”. What begins as Jeff finding entertainment in these people quickly turns into an obsession to the point of him suspecting one of murder.
The characters are as follows:
- Thorwald and his wife Anna are like a reversal of Jeff and Lisa. Here Thorwald must look after his nagging wife; Thorwalds annoyance at his moaning wife mirrors Jeff’s arguments with Lisa.
- The Newly Wed couple who begin the film as the perfect couple and the only apartment to have their blinds closed, but in the film we see the marriage begin to deteriorate as the wife finds out the husband has lost his job. This mirrors Jeff being afraid of being “tied down” by marriage to Lisa.
- The Middle aged couple whose life seems so mundane and revolves around their dog.
- The songwriter (a composer) and Miss Lonely (a depressed spinster) whom are both really depressed but at the end of the film find comfort in each other. The composer’s new song draws Miss Lonely away from suicide and this gives the composer a feeling of value in his work.
- The Dancer, who seemingly has many suitors visiting her but at the end it is revealed she has been waiting for her soldier boyfriend to return.
For much of the film we watch through the view of Jeff’s binoculars, giving the impression that we are secretly looking into these people’s lives. Jeff’s obsession with watching other characters perhaps tells us that he is avoiding dealing with issues in his own life, particularly his relationship with Lisa.
Jeff witnesses some strange goings on at the Thorbald apartment and he believes that Thorbald has killed his wife. Lisa some deduces the same when she realises Mrs Thorbald has left her handbag, this handbag becomes an important prop in the rest of the story. Lisa insists that Mrs Thorbald would never have left her handbag behind when going on a supposed trip and is driven to find evidence to convict Mr Thorbald. This possibly hints that Lisa is a superficial and materialistic person, something which Jeff fears as he is quite the opposite.
The film culminates with Lisa entering Mr Thorbald’s apartment to search for the handbag to find evidence. Whereas previously the apartment was well lit and Thorbald seemed small, now it is very dark and the Character appears very large. In previous scenes it was shot from Jeff’s apartment, now much of the remaining film is shot from Thorbald’s perspective.
After Lisa confronts Thorbald and it becomes clear he has murdered his wife, he manages to enter Jeff’s apartment. Thorbald is no longer small and distant but now he is huge, close and menacing.
Jeff doesn’t choose a knife or another similar object to protect himself but instead picks up his camera and flash bulb. This shows that Jeff has been using the camera to distance himself from his problems and perhaps Lisa. However the camera cannot protect him from this situation and Thorbald attacks him and throws him out the window where he perilously hangs from the ledge. In this scene the things that have until now protected Jeff (camera and window) are taken away from him.
Jeff is ultimately saved by Lisa and as he is laid in her lap with his barriers stripped away, we are hinted at a rebirth and that perhaps Jeff can now start a proper relationship with Lisa without these barriers he previously had up.
At the end of the film the audience are left pondering which “window” will Jeff and Lisa become.