I personally love the supernatural driven story lines; fantasy-adventure films are my go to genre of choice. However admittedly, a guilty pleasure of mine, are documentaries and films, that follow the very dramatic lives of others. There’s something oddly comforting I found with watching other peoples lives unfold less then ideally, I mean that in the least sadistic manner possible. I guess it makes me realise that my life just isn’t as bad as others.
Now… I know I’m not the only one that feels this way as many filmmakers create story line around this concept, due to its popularity, films like The Truman Show (1998), which act like big budgeted reality TV shows. We all know how popular and addictive those darn reality TV shows are. Let me ask you this… What does shows like Big Brother and a film as great as Alfred Hitchcock’s, 1954 film Rear Window, have in common? A cognitive and affect approach; you didn’t guess that, but I’m sure you were close.
What was made clear to me after comparing the two, was that people, although complain about drama, are very much attracted or addicted to it. Hitchcock hits the nail on the head in portraying this attraction/addiction. Honestly, watching Rear Window, had me enticed into the unfolding of the mini story lines, but it also had me feeling a great sense of nostalgia; remembering all the times I people watched from beyond the cafe windows or from my seat in a waiting room. I remember just like the main character in this film, taking an interest in people’s lives and a particularly keen interest in the more dramatic stories.
Once found and understood, audiences will become immersed in the story world, finding relations between themselves and the characters. If a film achieves this from its audiences, then in my books, it is a truly successful film.