Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in association with Melbourne Festival presents

Rear Window


Curated by Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Alfred Hitchcock fashioned a film career out of voyeurism and obsession. His masterful Rear Window is the perfect accumulation of these dark cinematic desires, while implicating the audience in the process. The act of cinema going becoming the ultimate expression of the peeping Tom in us all.

Using as a springboard the wheelchair incarceration of our hapless protagonist L.B Jeffries (played by Hitchcock’s favourite everyman, James Stewart); stuck at home with nothing but time on his hands. Hitchcock takes perverse pleasure in realising the saying ‘the devil finds work for idle hands’, as Jeffries seemingly innocent pastime of watching his neighbours turns into full blown surveillance and obsession when he stumbles upon an ‘apparent’ murder.

As in his other Stewart collaboration Vertigo (1958), Hitchcock goes to great lengths to expose the kink in America’s most wholesome male star. 

Locating his immaculately constructed images through the frames of Stewart’s window and his adjoining neighbours brings to mind the ultimate frame the film plays out it; the cinema screen. We too share in Jeffries voyeuristic reveries and take great pleasure in it as we do it.


The Eyes Without A Face film series is part of our program of ancillary events surrounding our presentation of the 1984 stage production.


Director Alfred Hitchcock (1954)