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When Worlds Collide – Voyeurism In Film And Other Subtle Tactics!

Voyeurism Of Horror: Usually a reaction of fear aimed for in the audience, either physical, psychological or emotional. These reactions bring out the “fight or flight” response in human nature which take us back to before Civilisation. To when these inbuilt tools kept us out of danger and alive.

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Georges Méliès In the 1890’s created a few silent Horror Films and one of those films was the classic French short Horror;
Le Manoir du Diable.

Many film historians believe this is the first Horror Film ever made. Also known as The House of the Devil. Featuring a Bat changing into a Man. The man is the incarnation of the devil. As this three minute film moves toward the end the Crucifix Conquers the Day against the Demonic Vampire.

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The Shining & Rear Window
Rear Window 1954, takes the viewer on an initiation into voyeurism of the neigborhood (the eyes of a rear window looker) as the area’s inhabitants wake and rise to a new day. Eventually we are taken inside of James Stewart’s apartment’s many objects including the clues as to what his profession is or was up until his current wheelchair bound condition. A Photographer in his prime. Some rear Window views are no doubt of the explicit nature that are a bit hard not to see. Hitchcock’s notorious use of the colour green especially hooks the viewer with a taste when we see a hint of discord inside one of these apartment windows between husband and wife. From James Stewart’s point of view, we do not see the usual boundaries such as fences, gates and walls which usually seperate people’s lives from one another. ‘We become a race of peeping toms’.

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Mise-En-Scene:
The Shining’s opening Misc-En-Scene is one of huge long expanse of tracking through the untouched countryside – Glacier National Park (Montana) and eventually we arrive at the hotel. The film follows our characters inside and into this huge country hotel with its array of uniform colour and symmetrically balanced visuals, all to keep the audience spoon fed with increasing questions, uneasiness and suspense.

Sound
2001 A Space Odessey’s most famous floating Blue Danube music in outer space (expressing the long boring travel the inhabitants of the craft are forced to endure on a routine basis. Through to Hitchcock’s opening jazz number in the beginning of Rear Window.

Diegetic Sound: Sound presented to us coming from the world of the film.
Eg: The main character playing a violin, piano, etc.

Non- Diegetic Sound: The Source of this Sound is not visible in the world shown to us.
Eg: Vocal Commentary, Sound Effects to produce more punch, Mood Music, etc.

Less is More and Far Less is Far More within reason. Basic film editing (disregarding the unneeded for the film) and a clever narrative device. Narrative information withheld. Are us as viewers allowed to see or know more than a certain character in a certain moment of story? Also known as Purposeful Omission. NOT stating the obvious (cut the superfluous) or clever concealment to add a new level of storytelling. A device used in many genres especially biopics and suspense. Hence the term Cut to the Chase. Give the audience credit for higher intelligence with perception into the context and they will thank you for it.

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No one wants to see the dull and monotonous. Omit the obvious. Good screenplays, good filmmakers and editors are more than aware of perception of the audience. 2001 – A Space Odyssey, the beginning ellipsis of showing the early sapiens of earth throwing the bone up into the air and this scene melding with the Scene of a Space Station orbiting earth, A Match Cut of Kubrick’s. Removing the obvious monotonous and dull bits in life out of cinema such as getting dressed, getting into a car or shopping for the ingredients before preparing dinner.

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Jumping right in to what makes these characters interesting early. For some reason or another the cinema audiences of this century have more acuity in deciphering what the scene is about as opposed to cinema audiences of last century, regardless of preconception on the smart phone – the dumbing down misconception. This is Intelligent Observation.

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