Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Faves: Rear Window

Hitchcock's cage match.  He wanted to see if he could make a film in what amounts to one room.  The camera is trapped with James Stewart in his apartment.  Of course, he pulled it off.  Its a terrific movie.  The kind of movie where if you happen across it on TV and watch for two or three minutes, you always end up watching the whole thing.

I have a theory about Hitchcock and Grace Kelly.  This was the second of three films he made with her; Dial M for  Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch A Thief (1955).  In 1956, she married Prince Ranier, moved to Monaco and stopped making movies.  I think she broke Hitchcock's heart.  He was so mad, he killed her twice in Vertigo (1958), again in Psycho (1960), then tormented her on and off for the rest of his career.  This theory is refreshingly free of facts, but its plausible.  Hitchcock was an exceedingly strange man.  I'm tempted to say he could never have flourished in the modern media microscope age.  But as this media culture developed in the 1960's, he not only survived, he mastered it.

In any case, there are few directors that have ever combined such thinly disguised examination of personal obsession with such  unadulterated artistic and commercial success.