Filmic Space and Real Time in Hitchcock’s Rope

  • Peter J. Dellolio


FILMIC SPACE AND REAL TIME IN HITCHCOCK'S ROPE "Brandon, how did you feel?""When?""During it?"Philip Morgan to Brandon Shaw IntroductionRope explores some of the fundamental characteristics of the cinematic abstraction of time and space by using the mobile camera as an agent that gives plastic reality to subjective material. In Rope, a synthesis of real time and filmic space forces the viewer to absorb narrative information on multiple, often distastefully ironic levels. At the same time, the viewer is given freedom of selection in terms of how, when, and why his/her attention is split, inviting some comparison with similar choices experienced during depth of focus shots, a spatial configuration that Hitchcock characteristically avoided. The movement of the camera throughout the film places the viewer in the ethically, emotionally, and psychologically uncomfortable position of perceiving perversity in the relationship between image and dialogue. For example, during the...