Saturday, August 27, 2011

Voyeurism in the Movies


Jackie works as a CCTV operator in the 2007 Scottish film RED ROAD. Each day she watches over a housing estate in Glasgow, protecting the people living under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she'd never see again.

This film took its time in explaining itself, but in the end was a good one.

RED ROAD is about watching other people and some great films have dealt with the subject. In this case, she is paid to watch. But in many cases, the watching comes about in other ways.

What is your favorite film about watching? I'm going to pick the obvious choice since it's my favorite movie and go with REAR WINDOW.

18 comments:

Ron Scheer said...

I liked this movie, too. Another one that comes to mind is FOLLOWING, by Christopher Nolan.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, yes. That was a good one.

Charles Gramlich said...

Well since it's in my mind, I'll say "Fright Night." LIked the original quite a lot. Haven't seen the remake yet

Dana King said...

Hard to top REAR WINDOW. DePalma's BODY DOUBLE wasn't bad, but not in REAR WINDOW's class.

Of course, Depalma is no Hitchcock, either.

pattinase (abbott) said...

THE CONVERSATION is a good one. You can look with your ears too.

Jerry House said...

THE CONVERSATION was the first film I thought of, then BLOW-UP.

Deb said...

Patti & Jerry beat me to it--I was going to say "The Conversation" (which I also commented about in the "Scariest Scenes" post a few days ago). What's unnerving about "The Conversation" is that Gene Hackman's character completely misinterprets what he sees (and, of course, hears) while watching/evesdropping on Cindy Williams & Frederick Forrest.

Dave Zeltserman said...

Rear Window is a classic--great movie, but I'll go with The Conversation, one of the best films from the 70s, which is probably the best decade for films.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Truman Show has the entire country watching one man.

Anonymous said...

What happened to my comment? When I posted it (THE CONVERSATION) there was nothing else there, but now it seems to have disappeared.

Jeff M.

George said...

One of the most obsessive books I've ever read is Marc Behm's EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. The movie version takes "watching" to a whole new level.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

REAR WINDOW is right on top followed by PSYCHO and David Lynch's BLUE VELVET starring Dennis Hopper who I thought was brilliant. Colin Farrell's PHONE BOOTH for sheer pastime. A hidden sniper as a voyeur — how's that? I also remember an early film called PEEPING TOM though I have never seen it. Does Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS count?

pattinase (abbott) said...

No, the second one did appear.

Cap'n Bob said...

The one about the kid who was living in a walled off area of his house, and then another family moved in. I want to say Bad Ronald but I'm not sure if that's right. No doubt Pattinasedom assembled will set me straight.

Todd Mason said...

PEEPING TOM (not so very early, 1960, about the same time as PSYCHO the film) and THE CONVERSATION are certainly my first choices, though PEEPING TOM is only about a very intense/short-term sort of observation. SOLARIS, CONTACT, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE all have something to be said for them here; BEING JOHN MALKOVITCH and, for all its goofiness, VIDEODROME might be even better examples. The one I'd like to see that I know about is DEATH WATCH (1980), based on D. G. Compton's novel THE CONTINUOUS KATHERINE MORTENHOE. The best television series in this vein that comes to mind is TERMINAL CITY, which featured Maria Del Mar as a breast-cancer suffering television reporter who rebuilds her failing "reality" show around her fight with the disease...on Canadian cable, broadcast on CityTV (the Toronto channel mocked by VIDEODROME), and run in the States by Sundance Channel...

Paul D. Brazill said...

Since everything I was going to say has been mentioned, I'll go with Tavarnier's Death Watch.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I did see Peeping Tom years ago. How about SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE. Also AMERICAN BEAUTY. Don't think I have seen BAD RONALD or the Tavernier.

Todd Mason said...

And BAD RONALD, of course, is based on Jack/John Holbrook Vance's novel.