About us
Croatian film


Peeping Toms

An interpretative study: an analysis of the intertextual bonds between voyeuristic attitudes of the leading characters in Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Lynch’ Blue Velvet.

»I don’t know whether you are a detective or a pervert?« Laura Dern asks Kyle MacLachlan. Jeffrey Baumont’s voyeuristic attitude (Kyle MacLachlan) in Blue Velvet can be seen as an intertextual variation of Hitchcock’s character L. B. Jefferies (James Stewart). There are definite similarities between the two films. There are similarities between the names of protagonists (Jefferies vs. Jeffrey), they both involve themselves into a detective role though they are not detectives, they both nose into other people’s lives, they both have close female helpers, and their adventures are successfully closed and ended in marriage with female helpers. However, there are also marked differences in the same elements in which the similarities are found. Blue Velvet Jeffrey is mobile, while the Rear Window Jefferies is not; it is Jeffrey that enters the murderer’s premises while his girl helper is on guard, it is reverse in Rear Window, etc.

Their voyeuristic situations are again different: Jefferies is almost in a position of a movie viewer who watches the events on the screen in front of him; Jeffrey actively hides on the spot and peaks from his hiding place. Hitchcock’s main protagonists have moral dilemmas about their voyeurism, while Lynche’s Jeffrey does not have any moral qualms, but is worried only about the consequences produced by his voyeurism. Both are obsessed by the conflicting feelings: a sense of power, predominance, and a feeling of incapacity, powerlessness. In Rear Window there is no bondage between the murderer and Jefferies, while there is a positive connection between Jeffrey and Frank (Denis Hooper) in Blue Velvet (Frank says to Jeffrey: »You are like me«).

Basically, in both films voyeurism is a means of entering another world, but also means of discovering things about oneself, though the things discovered are different in the two cases.

Analytical content: Introduction; »Theme variation«; Voyeurism as the entrance into another world; Discourse strategies; Bibliography

Tomislav Pavlic

Three Colors — Blue
Aliens — An Interpretation
SF in the Fifties

View other articles in this edition...


new edition

Web Statistics