Rear Window

Rear Window

Some movies, no matter how old they are, never age a day. Their situations and themes remain as relevant now as when they were first released. Watching them today, they reflect and comment on our present in ways they couldn’t possibly have anticipated. Every month we’re going to pick a movie from the past that does just that, and explore what it has to say about the here and now. For sixty years Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window has remained a classic not just because it’s a perfectly crafted thriller, but because it’s one of cinema’s greatest commentaries on our voyeuristic impulses. Those impulses haven’t gone away, which is why it’s not surprising that Rear Window continues to be a potent reflection of society—all the more so since technology has further enabled us to peer in on each other’s lives. Here then are five ways—not all of them exclusively about surveillance—that Rear Window continues to speak to us today.

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This post is probably not what you think. There are no LOLCats, no Rage Comic stick men bellowing about the superiority of The Dark Knight and Inception. It’s not really a love letter to modernity. But it’s also not Sight & Sound‘s decennial Top Ten List. That prestigious publication has done great work since even before polling critics in 1952 to name the best movies of all time. They’ve recreated the experiment every ten years since (with filmmakers included in 1992), and their 2012 list is due out soon. However, there is certainly overlap. The FSR poll includes only 37 critics (and 4 filmmakers), but we’re young and have moxy, and none of us were even asked by Sight & Sound for our considerable opinion. That’s what’s fascinating here. The films nominated by those invited by S&S have the air of critical and social importance to them. They are, almost all, serious works done by serious filmmakers attempting to make serious statements. This list, by contrast, is the temperature of the online movie community in regards to what movies are the “greatest.” The results might be what you expect. But probably not.

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Alfred Hitchcock was born in the 19th century but gave birth in the 20th century to the age of modern filmmaking. Famous for his wit, inventive appreciation of the macabre, and a firm belief that suspense involves bringing a victim out from the shadows into the light he crafted the kinds of movies that made you care about characters even while reaching for your cholesterol medication. He also has a lot to teach. To fellow filmmakers and fans alike. Which is why we’ve chosen him as the first teacher in a new series of weekly articles where master movie-makers share their insights. Throughout his life, Hitchcock was candid about his methods and philosophies (amongst other things he flung around freely). Here’s a bit of free film school from a true visionary.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Whoa. Wow. Okay. Calming down just a bit, for fans of Rear Window (and who isn’t? Seriously, find me these people who aren’t so we can send them all to a different planet where they can’t bother us), this short film is a thing of movie geek beauty. Jeff Desom is a true geek, because he thought it would be a great idea to reconstruct the courtyard from the Alfred Hitchcock flick in order to follow the events of the film from a static position. Turns out, it was better than a great idea. The execution here is impeccable. What will it cost? Only 3 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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Super 8 pays its respects to master filmmaker Steven Spielberg, but here are a few films that walk the fine line between tipping the hat and stealing!

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Criterion Files

Every week in October, Criterion Files will be bringing you a horror movie from the archives of classic cinema or the hallways of the arthouse. This week’s entry takes a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s Hollywood debut, Rebecca (1940). While some would argue (and by “some” I mean Cole Abaius) that Hitchcock only made two films that could uncontestably be identified as horror – Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) – Rebecca is an interesting point of inception for themes covered throughout the auteur’s American career and is a film that engages in literary forms of the horror genre. Especially when seen as a ghost story.

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The answer to this question, taken literally, is “the love of cinema.” But, of course, nothing (at least, nothing in this column) is ever so simple.

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Filmmakers beware! You now have more to fear than critics reviews. Spielberg and the companies behind ‘Disturbia’ are being sued for unoriginality.

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Kevin Carr

WTF: FBI Warnings

Features By Kevin Carr on September 10, 2008 | Comments (26)

I copied this FBI Warning from a DVD!

Who can’t recite that stupid warning from heart? Who hasn’t taken notice of that thing? Who doesn’t known that copyright infringement is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine?

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