Crime Fiction

Crime Fiction is the genre of fiction that deals with crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. The genre can also be divided into four sub-genres; detective fiction, legal thriller, courtroom drama and hard-boiled fiction. The Crime Fiction genre emerged during the mid-19th century, although it can be difficult at times to tell where crime fiction starts and ends. This is largely attributed to the fact that love, danger and death are central motifs in fiction. Crime Fiction and the film industry have become more renowned over the later 19th and 20th centuries. This is largely due to both catering to the need of the average society to escape into an idealist world, where the good reaps the rewards, and the bad incur their punishment.

Alfred Hitchcock??™s, Rear Window (1954), expands on traditional themes of the Detective Fiction Genre. The Hitchcokian film compels to audience into a thrilling crime story; one that ranges from rear-window observations of a ballet dancer to the murder of a salesman??™s wife. The audience view??™s the private lives of those within the closed walls of the apartments, where as the public is portrayed to be out past those walls. The ideal detective figure encompassed traits of superiority, intelligence, wit and a keen sense for observation. The lead detective in Rear Window is a sophisticated character that is not bound by the limitations of the law. This is explored through the use of visual aid and techniques, providing contrast and variation on the common themes within the genre.

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Hitchcock is clear to make social class division shown in his masterpiece. The stark contrast of the character Stella, and how she knows right from wrong, is made evident speech about how the whole of society is the ???watcher???. Stella??™s wise word??™s, prove that even a non-educated person can have words of meaning, a very rare thing during the times of which Rear Window is placed.

Hitchcock??™s Rear Window is undoubtedly a film that is concerned with voyeurism. Rear Window has a strong cinematic spectatorship relationship in the sense that it is a movie about watching movies. This is because the protagonist, Jeff, is confined to his wheelchair watching the people in the windows across the courtyard similar to the cinemagoer that is confined to their seat with the sole purpose to gaze upon others lives. This voyeuristic element in the film is a fundamental part of why Rear Window is an intriguing, brilliant and macabre Hitchcockian visual study.

In literary texts, individual works of crime fiction are built from the devices, codes and conventions established by previous works of crime fiction, and they are therefore crucial to our understanding of these texts in the present. Like in Rear Window, the literary critic retraces a chronological chain of cause and effect in order to make sense of the present, and the literary texts that it produces. As from the beginning in Rear Window, the development of the genre within a wider social and historical chronology identifies the various contexts within which their devices, codes and conventions first begin to develop.

The first of these sub-generic conventions is the strong visual images. Mystery and detective fiction represent the earliest consolidation of various themes, devices, and motifs within single texts. Another reason is that they have had more time than later developments of the genre to be appropriated by later fiction. Most people remember Jeff sitting in his wheel chair by his rear window with a pair of binoculars in hand watching people. Similarly the image of the hard-boiled detective in hat and overcoat with a gun in his hand is largely inherited from the cinema. This is however, not used in Rear Window, with Hitchcock placing an ordinary man whose occupation is a photographer in its place.

This historical and social context of American life in the 1950??™s gives many different understandings and interpretations to Hitchcock??™s Rear Window. Jeff??™s voyeurism links the two plot lines of the murder and mystery and the love story. This was also an era in American society that began to change its traditional opinions and men who didn??™t want to marry. Hitchcock??™s film demonstrates how gender plays a vital role in the dynamic of cinematic spectatorship. Hitchcock is able to expose this type of sadistic voyeurism in Rear Window by emphasizing these aspects presents in Jeff??™s relationship with Lisa. Jeff chooses to spy on other peoples lives even when his beautiful girlfriend is throwing herself at him. The images portrayed on the screen of the cinema are not forbidden, but he whole point of the film is that the conditions of screening and narrative conventions give the spectator an illusion of looking in on a private world, and is therefore acting as if it is forbidden.

The film Snatch, written and directed by Guy Ritchie in 2000, is set in the London criminal underworld, with intertwined plots; one dealing with the search for a stolen diamond, the other with a small-time boxing promoter named Turkish who finds himself under the thumb of a ruthless gangster known as Brick Tope. Snatch is distinguished by a kinetic direction and editing style, a circular plot featuring numerous ironic twists of chance and causality, all at a fast pace, much like Alfred Hitchcock??™s Rear Window. Much like Rear Window, Snatch compels the audience into a crime fiction tale one that ranging from diamond courier Frankie Four Fingers to Bullet Tooth Tony torturing a street punk into revealing who robbed the bookies. In the film Snatch, over the shoulder shots are used at first, suggesting to us that the two men on screen are being interviewed, or questioned. These angles later develop into close ups that resemble mugs shots, suggesting to us that they are criminals and being interrogated. This opening allows the audience to introduce and familiarize themselves with the main characters, much like the opening scene of Jeff in Rear Window. While Snatch contains a lot of comedy, the circular plot always leads us back to crime, much like the relationship between Jeff and Lisa in Rear Window.

Read Window is an intriguing, brilliant and macabre Hitchcokian visual study with an almost obsessive curiosity, a work that is almost perverse in its giddy celebration of the thrill of voyeurism. Hitchcock expands on the traditional themes in the Crime Fiction genre, and compels the audience into a thriller crime story. By the use of social class division in Rear Window, people in today??™s society are able to make that connection. Rear Window has a strong cinematic spectatorship relationship in the sense that it is a movie about watching movies. This voyeuristic element in the film is a fundamental part of why Rear Window is an intriguing, brilliant and macabre Hitchcockian visual study. As from the beginning in Rear Window, the development of the genre within a wider social and historical chronology identifies the various contexts within which their devices, codes and conventions first begin to develop. This historical and social context of American life in the 1950??™s gives many different understandings and interpretations to Hitchcock??™s Rear Window. Jeff??™s voyeurism links the two plot lines of the murder and mystery and the love story. The opening of Guy Ritchie??™s Snatch, allows the audience to introduce and familiarize themselves with the main characters, much like the opening scene of Jeff in Rear Window. The quirky and inventive ways of Hitchcock in Rear Window makes it of an extremely high value today.

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