Goddess in the Rear Window

rear1It struck me, re-watching Rear Window last night (thanks to The ‘Burbs, but to explain that you’re best reading my prior post), that a great appeal of that movie is just re-experiencing it, wallowing in it, as if the screen was an actual place, in just the same way as watching Blade Runner is always a little like visiting LA 2019 (a place just as impossible now as the 1950s setting of Rear Window seems to be). Regardless of the plot, for almost two hours one can feel oneself transported to this other world, soaking up the visuals and the sounds (I think the audio track of Rear Window, utilising mostly ‘source’ or ‘diegetic’ music, is one of its greatest achievements). Certainly, never has the Greenwich Village courtyard of Rear Window seemed as captivating and tangible as it does on this 4K UHD release- the film looks quite ravishing: the fabrics and textures are so detailed, the colours so vibrant, the sense of time and place so dreamy and evocative (partly because its actually all a set, something that just intensifies the strange dreamlike feel of the setting). And then of course there is Grace Kelly, possibly the most beautiful actress to ever appear onscreen, the definitive Hitchcock Blonde: beautiful, intelligent, sexy… she is so fascinating to just watch, she seems to light up the screen with her presence. It is astonishing to think her acting career only lasted barely six years, as she retired from acting at just 26 years old upon marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco, becoming Princess of Monaco, never returning to acting (despite overtures from Hitchcock, for one). Her life had suddenly become a real-life fairy-tale, I suppose, so returning to Hollywood likely seemed pointless. Kelly’s entrance in Rear Window, a slow close-up culminating in a long, slow sensual kiss, and then literally lighting up the room as she steps from light to light, switching each lamp on in turn, is one of the most astonishing entrances in all cinema, in my book; there is something intensely magical and quite timeless about it.

 

5 thoughts on “Goddess in the Rear Window

    1. Thankyou, its films like Rear Window and the lovely experience re-watching them which reminds me why I love films. Its not necessarily even the classics- I love re-watching both Avanti and The Prisoner of Second Avenue simply to experience their moments in time; the mood and atmosphere of them; the performances and the music. Neither film would be perceived as ‘classic’ either critically or even in popularity amongst the general public but for me they are very special experiences to savour again and again. ‘Magic Time’ as Lemmon himself used to say.

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