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Humour can be theorised as integral to the genre even if there are some films that do not provoke laughter. Romantic comedy has been described as a narrative of the heterosexual couple with a happy ending in which humour does not necessarily play an important part. The comic, protective, erotically-charged space is the space of romantic comedy. This book proposes a revised theory of romantic comedy and then tests its validity through the analysis of texts, but these films must not be expected to fully embody the theory. It proposes a change of approach in two different but closely linked directions. On the one hand, a comic perspective is a fundamental ingredient of what we understand by romantic comedy; on the other, the genre does not have a specific ideology but, more broadly, it deals with the themes of love and romance, intimacy and friendship, sexual choice and orientation. The book discusses two films directed by two of the most prestigious figures in the history of Hollywood comedy: Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be became part of the canon as one of the most brilliant comedies in the history of Hollywood in so far as its romantic comedy elements remained invisible. Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid was almost universally rejected because its satire was too base, too obscene, too vulgar. Discussing Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors, the book attempts to move beyond the borders of comedy.

Celestino Deleyto

I. The other thrills of Rear Window Alfred Hitchcock, more than any other director, has been identified with a single genre, the suspense thriller. While it took several decades and the joint effort of various auteurist critics and scholars such as Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut, Donald Spoto or Robin Wood to rescue his films from the sphere of popular entertainment and usher them

in The secret life of romantic comedy
Sidney Gottlieb

analysis for its presentation of the therapeutic function of music, but my focus will be on two other films –​one very well-​known, the other hardly known at all. Rear Window (1954) comes first to mind as Hitchcock’s most fully articulated affirmation of what Jack Sullivan (2006: 169–​82) calls ‘The Redemptive Power of Popular Music’, and I’ll try to add a bit to his fine discussion, particularly by identifying what I think are some key models for Hitchcock of films dramatizing characters saved by song. I’ll then concentrate on a much earlier film, Waltzes from Vienna

in Partners in suspense
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Sam Rohdie

seen) and the subjective (the manner of seeing it). The Hitchcockian system of shot (object) /counter-shot (look) needs to be considered in this context. What is seen traps the actor’s look (Novak in Vertigo and the neighbours in Rear Window). It is important that the sight seen has in it something out of place, out of true and the normal, which engages the look of the character and lures him or her into an imaginary. In that

in Montage
Barry Jordan

1968 : 175 and 47). 15 As noted earlier, films such as Rear Window , Vertigo , Psycho and Peeping Tom foreground and explore the complex relations and implications of voyeurism and the various viewing positions involved. The influence of Peeping Tom also seems to underpin certain features of the predecessor to Tesis , i.e. Himenóptero (1992). Like Powell’s classic feature, Amenábar’s second

in Alejandro Amenábar
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Sam Rohdie

Melanie and the birds as they gather outside the schoolhouse, between Scottie and Madeleine, pursuer and pursued between the photographer and the salesman across the way in Rear Window (1954) that binds the spectator by fear and suspense along the editing line that creates an accord between on-screen and off, object and regard). There is no external to a Hitchcock film. It is a closed structure. No matter the play of doubling, of deception, of suspense, these remain rigorously objective in their presentation, that is, they appear to belong to the world of the fiction

in Film modernism
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Hitchcock’s secret sharer
Jack Sullivan

consider Hitchcock’s music at all, we tend to think about Vertigo (1958) or Psycho (1960), but how often do we think about the music in Rebecca (1940) or Spellbound (1945) or Rear Window (1954), even though these changed the way film music was received and marketed? And how often do we think about the incredibly diverse genres Hitchcock explored, more than any director in history, not only dense symphonic scores, but popular songs, Strauss waltzes, jazz, cabaret, rock tracks, Cageian noise effects, and electronic experiments? Herrmann is the gold standard for Hitchcock

in Partners in suspense
Guy Austin

While analysing Rear Window (1954) in the book on Hitchcock which he co-wrote with Chabrol, Eric Rohmer gives an account of cinematic voyeurism which is worth quoting at length: the theme concerns the very essence of cinema, which is seeing, spectacle. A man watches and waits while we watch this man and wait for what he is

in Claude Chabrol
Lisa Downing

imaginary as Tristan and Isolde. This film is at once about the tension between preserving and breaking with the lost object – not only the bodies of Mme Schaeffer and Mathilde, but the meanings accrued to textual bodies through time and tradition. Monsieur Hire: the multiple gaze If Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) is the best-known and most widely discussed of those films which

in Patrice Leconte
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body and sexuality in reverse motion
James S. Williams

such non-phallic pleasure will become still clearer if we turn briefly to Lee Edelman’s remarkable study of the visual rhetoric of anality in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954), a film directly concerned like Cocteau’s cinema with vision and the scopic drive (Edelman 1999 : 83). Edelman shows how an anal eroticism structures the rhythm of the entire film, disrupting narrative momentum in order to offer the glimpse of a

in Jean Cocteau