Voyeurs, watchers, peeping toms, whatever the terms you want to attribute to yourself, we all partake in this activity in some fashion or another. I hope not the peeping tom one cause that is just weird and probably illegal. Anyways, when we watch films or television, we all engage in the act of voyeurism. While the term itself has more of a negative connotation, a sexual one if you will, we all watching movies to get a glimpse into something that we aren’t generally exposed to. It’s the dirty little secret that we all have, wanting to uncover something about someone through the act of looking into their lives. Films makes this a safe activity for us to engage in, but some films take the aspect of voyeurism and expand upon it. Instead of watching people’s lives through a particular looking glass, films like American Beauty and The Truman Show, are more of the safe versions of storytelling that utilize voyeurism to its advantage. We peer into one’s life, without ever really getting any secrets, just surface information. The personalized nature of the film means we care just a bit more and are wrapped up in the characters ongoing dilemmas.
There are films though that take the voyeur angle and weaves a story that eventually unravels before your eyes. Secrets, intimacy, and hidden pasts all come out just by the act of watching someone. Caché is a French film that hides in plain sight, watching, waiting and uncovering truths and secrets about a particular family that starts to tear apart the protagonists, all from an unflinching point of view.
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