Sunday, August 21, 2011

Assignment Questions:

Critical Thinking Questions (300 to 400 words): Rear Window. Submit your assignment using the link above (due on Sunday of this unit; 20 points).
  1. Discuss the sound design in the film. How did the score create mood? Give examples of scenes and explain how the mood would have changed with a different score.
  2. Discuss the pacing of this film. How does the pacing create tension? Give examples.
  3. Hitchcock often uses a plot device called a "macguffin." Was there a macguffin in this film? What is a macguffin? Explain this in your own words. (A macguffin is defined in our text on pg. 34).
Assignment Answers:

  1. Hitchcock did something different with Rear Window than what is usually done with most films and uses very little sound. Part of this is due to the distance that Jeff is away from everyone and everything. One of the many times the "score" created a mood is when the music was being played in another apartment was so beautiful, that distracted Lisa while she was in Thornwell's apartment looking around for clues to the murder. With a different and more literal score like the one in The Birds, for example, would have taken all intimacy out of the film.
  2. The pacing for Rear Window is very slow, but done very literally because he tension is created by slowly giving us hints and clues to everyone's story but not giving full details until the end when everyone is revealed and our imagination has been through all the scenerios. For example, there are clues about Thornwell killing his wife but we aren't sure until he is attacked by Jeff so it doesn't get out.
  3. Hitchcock's macguffin for this film was Mrs. Thornwell's wife's wedding ring is  because she wouldn't take it off for any reason and is the first major clue the to surface and needs to be given to police for them to investigate the crime further. A macguffin is an object in a film the drives the action. For example, in Back To The Future, part II, the sports almanac Marty puchases (in the future) is the macguffin because all action is to recover it from Biff (in the past) before he uses it.

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