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Videos selected for SCREENSTUDIES.VIDEO, a research website that gathers and reflects on the insights and understanding in the field of screen studies generated by Birkbeck, University of London Professor Catherine Grant's audiovisual essay work since January 1, 2014:

REAR WINDOW Syncopated


"Syncopate" [ˈsɪŋkəpeɪt/]. Verb
displace the beats or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa.
"syncopated dance music"
shorten (a word) by dropping sounds or letters in the middle, as in symbology for symbolology, or Gloster for Gloucester.

A rhythmic experiment with "film studies in the groove" (like this:, the above video also plays with abbreviation (and elision*), acceleration and musical synchresis.

It was originally assembled to support a classroom conversation (following a screening of the full-length version of REAR WINDOW) about the film studies notion of "Classical Hollywood Narrative", as well as about the neo-formalist distinctions film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson set up between "Story", "Plot" and "Narrative":

--STORY: ‘the set of ALL events in the narrative, both ones explicitly presented and those the viewer infers, comprises the story’ (Bordwell & Thompson, FILM ART, 1997: 92);

--PLOT: ‘the term plot is used to describe everything visibly and audibly PRESENT in the film before us’ (Bordwell & Thompson, 1997: 92);

--NARRATIVE: ‘a chain of events in cause-effect relationship occurring in time and space’ (Bordwell & Thompson, 1997: 90). In other words, how the story is told.

Do the film's "story," "plot" and "narrative" all change in this remixed, jazzed-up version? If so, how? And what might this mean for our understanding of those concepts?

*On the topic of REAR WINDOW and elision, please read James Macdowell's great article "What We Don’t See, and What We Think it Means: Ellipsis and Occlusion in REAR WINDOW," published in THE HITCHCOCK ANNUAL, Vol. 16. Eds. Sidney Gottlieb & Richard Allen. New York: Columbia University Press (2010): 77-101.

** Also see Jeff Desom's magisterial video essay REAR WINDOW Timelapse:

FILM IMAGES from REAR WINDOW (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

MUSIC by “Captain Hugo” by Hugo 'Droopy' Contain, Shared under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License at the Free Music Archive.

VIDEO by Catherine Grant, 2016