FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Hindsight

By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 2, 2007

Be that as it may, Jackie’s rear-window ethics at first seem downright benevolent. Maybe it’s partly because she’s female and comes across as maternal. Maybe it’s because, unlike the male protagonists in the three other movies, she doesn’t come from a position of powerlessness. In fact, she’s rather godlike. Not only is she all-seeing, she’s nearly omnipotent: one quick call and a squad car instantly responds to her report of someone in trouble. Call her Big Sister.

Nonetheless, something is missing from her life. Actually, everything is. She has no family to speak of and her social life consists of a brief trysts in a van with a fellow officer. She spends all of her time alone in a room, not even in her own home, surrounded by hundreds of images of the world, from which she is aloof and alienated. Unlike Terry, she doesn’t even have the background buzz of deluded foreign policy — the TV screens broadcast only images of back alleys, dismal streets, and godforsaken buildings — to entertain her.

But she does have a past, and one day she spots someone she thinks she knows on a monitor. It’s Clyde (Tony Curran), a red-haired lout recently released from prison. He’s the end product of a society that isolates the lumpen misfits, the aliens, the unacceptable others, in places like Red Road and puts people like Jackie in charge of watching them.

Just the kind of neighbor one might focus all one’s rage on. As in the other films, Jackie’s initial interest in her suspect becomes obsessive. She painstakingly monitors Clyde, tails him on the street, follows him into cafés and pubs, and flirts with him at a party. He doesn’t recognize her and it seems like she might have cast him in a leading role in some paranoid delusion.

Until she, too, crosses the line between voyeurism and involvement in a way that is shocking and heart-rending. Hitchcock might have been appalled, but I think he would have approved. In her own self-destructive but life-affirming way, Jackie restores the notion of rear-window ethics to its ancient formulation: love your neighbor as you love yourself.

On the Web
Peter Keough's Outside the Frame blog: http://www.thephoenix.com/outsidetheframe

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  | 
Related: Remembering filmmaker Karen Aqua, Review: Dream House, Review: The Skin I Live In, More more >
  Topics: Features , Politics, Entertainment, Tony Curran,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY PETER KEOUGH
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BUFFET DINING: THE 15TH BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL  |  March 19, 2013
    "Copraphagy" is a key word at this year's Boston Underground Film Festival at the Brattle.
  •   REVIEW: GINGER & ROSA  |  March 19, 2013
    Sally Potter likes to mess around with form and narrative.
  •   UNDERGROUND CINEMA: THE 12TH BOSTON TURKISH FILM FESTIVAL  |  March 12, 2013
    This year's Boston Turkish Film Festival includes works in which directors ponder the relationships between the secular and the religious, between men and women, and between destiny and identity.
  •   REVIEW: A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III  |  March 12, 2013
    In Roman Coppola's sophomoric second feature (his 2001 debut CQ was promising), Charlie Sheen shows restraint as the titular asshole, a dissolute ad designer and solipsistic whiner who's mooning over the loss of his latest love.
  •   REVIEW: UPSIDE DOWN  |  March 14, 2013
    Had Ed Wood Jr. directed Fritz Lang's Metropolis , he couldn't have achieved the earnest dopiness of Juan Solanas's sci-fi allegory — nor the striking images.

 See all articles by: PETER KEOUGH