Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ill. Fri. - Neighbor


Two new movies - "Disturbia" and "Civic Duty" - are explorations into paranoia about who our neighbors are and, as Tom Waits sang: "What the hell is he doing in there?" They are of course modern takes on Hitchcock's "Rear Window", and I thought that might be an appropriate subject for the IllFri challenge this week.
For the most part I've always enjoyed watching "Rear Window", but there are so many aspects to it that I've always found so wierd and creepy, even for Hitchcock, that its not my favorite of his. (For what its worth, I'm partial to "North By Northwest", "Shadow Of A Doubt" and "Saboteur")
Wheelchair-bound Jimmy Stewart, with his big phallic telephoto lens, seems too old and entirely too cranky for the luminous, if a bit icy, Grace Kelly. His obsessive spying on his neighbors - a thoroughly recognizable human frailty though it may be - has always felt to me like it crosses a certain line of believability. It certainly makes Stewart's character less appealing, and the relentlessness of it it actually makes one a little sorry for poor, beleagured, lumbering Raymond Burr, as the killer Thorvald. He's loathsome, yes, but I can also understand his desire to just be left alone.
As for slimy character definition, I think the most successful scene in the movie is where Jimmy Stewart's character is watching his girlfriend getting strangled by Thorvald and he seems more worried about being found out as a peeping Tom than he is for her safety. Hitchcock and Stewart got that part creepily pitch perfect. It all makes you wanna close the curtains a bit tighter.

24 comments:

JO said...

good one! loved Rear Window, and you did it excellently.

nina seven said...

awesome illo! I love everything about it!

Bcubed said...

Nice work, really nice work.

Jeffrey Morgan said...

Nice interpretation of the topic and excellent illustration. Im a big fan of all your work!

Steve Willhite said...

Damn! That rules! I'm going to be bookmarking your blog, the artwork is wonderful.

mike r baker said...

Excellent! All three are beautifully caricaturized. I agree with your interpretation of Rear Window. And I love NxNW!

Your work is fantastic.

Ian T. said...

Excellent! Rear Window is an absolute classic and you've done it complete justice! Did you know they apparently built a slightly curved set for the film (to appear flat on screen)?

Greg Hartman said...

Wow, this is great work! I love how you used the different colors and the drawing itself is brilliant. Your right, the concern for himself in such a situation is quite disturbing. Excellent work!

Greg Hartman said...

Wow, this is great work! I love how you used the different colors and the drawing itself is brilliant. Your right, the concern for himself in such a situation is quite disturbing. Excellent work!

metalpig said...

that a nice illustration, you have a beautiful portfolio also.

xenos said...

i'm glad that you said "phallic" first instead of me. anyhow, another great piece and commentary.

Duncan said...

Excellent illustration - great idea, and my fave Hitchcock film is the 39 Steps. Love your other stuff too. Thanks for your comments.

buep said...

Great one! Your work is brilliant!
Thanks for visiting my blog and your nice comments.

I'll be back here, I promise :)

demosthenes said...

Awesome. i considered doing Rear Window, now i'm glad i didn't. really excellent work.

Jim Pearson said...

You guys are too kind. Thanks a bunch for your comments.

Michelle Lana said...

Hahah...hilarious!!! great great work!

arvindh said...

I could tell at a glance what the movie was! great realistic rendering.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Your charicatures are excellent! I love Hitchcock. I like North by Northwest a lot. I also like Rope, which appears to be shot in one long take.

Noah Klocek said...

This is a great one for neighbor. Really nice characters as well.

Pati @-;-- said...

Wow! Excellent Jimmy! I wanted to do something about this classic film, but I haven't enough time to do so... but, luckily I haven't done it, because yours is stunning!

Bravo!

Ken Chandler said...

Classic movie! Some of the best actors to grace the screen. Love the elephant too. Great work all 'round!

Ammon said...

You have a great blog and I appreciatte your style and creativity. I look forward to seeing more.

Nobody said...

Damn that is freakin awesome.

TinmanSF said...

Great analysis of the movie & great artwork too!