The Hitchcock Haul: Rear Window (1954)

oXbT7vlLmZ76kWoHe5XJYuyJUgpI first must apologize for how bad I’ve been at my blog recently. My life has been quite crazy , so my poor blog has fallen by the wayside. But it is this exact craziness that made me think about Rear Window and want to rewatch it. Rear Window was one of the first Hitchcock films I saw in high school, and it remains one of my favorite. The simplicity paired with the high levels of suspense really get to me, and I think that’s why I enjoy all the Blumhouse films now (like Insidious and Sinister).

My boyfriend and I recently went through some rather large life changes, and grappling with the general logistics of all of it was incredibly stressful and had some interesting effects on me, such as an unexpected blossoming of paranoia and a touch of mind-numbing arachnophobia (I have never been deathly afraid of spiders before). Maybe the fact that I’m rewatching the entire run of the X-Files is contributing to all of this, but it’s more likely a side-effect of stress and recently being stuck in a disassembled apartment alone every day with mountains of work to do. Another strange development is that I started to notice the neighbors in my old neighborhood a lot more. I picked up on the comings and goings throughout my neighborhood before I left it, and was very invested in what everyone else was doing.

Do you see what’s happened here? My legs might not have been broken, but I was definitely channeling Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window. This is nothing new, however. When I was a kid, I became obsessed with Harriet the Spy. I started my own notebook and wrote down everything I saw going on up and down my street and in school. My mom found it and made me throw it away, but I never lost that mentality. Of course, Jimmy Stewart’s paranoia developed out of extreme boredom. My current encounter with it was stemming from stress and the need for escapism, but still, I feel like we’re kindred spirits.

Yup.

Yup.

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The Hitchcock Haul: Marnie  (1964)

marnie-1As I work my way through Hitchcock’s filmography, I haven’t encountered one of his films that I’ve wanted to talk about more than Marnie. This is one of the few Hitchcock films with a female protagonist (brilliantly played by Tippi Hedren), and at first glance the character of Marnie seems like a militant feminist. How refreshing! Except it turns out her strong will and complete distaste for men is just another classic Hitchcock smoke screen.

Marnie the film has been described as a great expression of sexual and psychological distress, but the content feels a bit too mishandled for me to agree. Marnie does examine the effects of repression on the mind and the use of therapy/analysis as a method of understanding deviant behavior. Of course it’s all wrapped up in an exciting thriller for our enjoyment. I can’t speak for the source novel by Winston Graham, but I did add it to my “to read” shelve on Goodreads! Here’s to hoping it’s just as exciting.

The film, however, is much deeper than any other Hitchcock I’ve seen to date. It’s also the closest Hitchcock comes to discussing feminism and real women’s issues. Unfortunately, it’s more of a dismissal of feminism than anything. It also has an overtly misogynistic male lead in Sean Connery. He definitely rapes her.

640px-Alfred_Hitchcock's_Marnie_Trailer_-_Tippi_Hedren_(3)

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