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September 1996, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 12 Sep 1996 10:21:20 -0600
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Richard Leskosky recalls:
"Many thanks for the clarification/correction, Don. At the beginning, as I
now recall, we see photos on the wall and in a magazine of a car race and
crash which James Stewart's character took and which presumably explain his
being in a cast.  Later, of course, he observes the goings-on in the
apartment across the way through various lenses, but no darkroom work."
The entire shot showing these elements neatly (and silently) establishes that
a) Jeff's a photographer; b) he leads an exciting, dangerous life; and c)
he probably broke his leg on one of these assignments.  The most interesting
object, though, is his picture of Lisa.  We see her on the cover of a magazine
resembling the old LIFE but her *negative* is in a frame.  That seems to
suggest, first, that the negative is the one *unique* object that the
photographer can call his own (Walter Benjamin, please call home!) and, second,
the possibility that Jeff harbors literally "negative" feelings about Lisa
or their relationship.  It's one of Hitchcock's most thorougly typical bits
of using setting--and one of his neatest.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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