In Hitchcock’s masterpiece there is a lot to be analysed. I am hesitant to explore the well-trodden subject of Voyeurism partly through boredom, and partly through my fervent belief that any original thoughts / ideas on the subject have become nigh-on impossible to attain.
Humanity has strived for objectivity since the invention of religion to explain the cosmos and nature, and science later on. But the act of looking or perceiving is fundamentally subjective. That’s why any attempt to explain empirical data is filtered through the eyes of the beholder and, thinking further, there is never any universal agreement on any film being either ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Jeffeires in ‘Rear Window’ is one such beholder of ‘screens’ (windows) if you like, looking into the drama of other lives. Perhaps the film itself is asking if we are objective as viewers into these worlds, or has our sympathy for Jeffries as the hero distorted our perception of events as we perhaps unasamadly want to believe his theory is correct.
Whatever the case, it is largely agreed that the camera as a machine has no such human limitations in that it takes in light and simply reproduces and records it, so we can perhaps garner a shred of objectivity this way (even if it is just a shred).
In the modern world I can image Jeffeires as some kind of Facebook addict, visiting the profiles of his friends and studying their social media habits out of boredom. Perhaps he makes connections between friends and eventually discovers an anomoly which leads him to believe a murder has occured.
Jimmy Stewart was charismatic and of his time, and Grace Kelly classically beautiful. I can image Jake Gyllenhaal in a similar role today, giving off a slightly creepy air, until we meet his girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence.