Showing posts with label The Flaneur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Flaneur. Show all posts

Friday, October 2, 2009


“In Fritz Lang’s M,” writes Raymond Durgnat, “the child murderer (Peter Lorre) sees his next victim gazing into a shop window full of toys. He pauses by the next window, and his reflection is hemmed in by a display of serried knives. In yet another window, the movements of an attention-getting spiral and an arrow have a mesmeric, mechanical quality, like the psychological pressure pounding inside his head. Photographed as reflected in the shop window, your character is transparent to what he is gazing at—his desires and obsessions are more solid and real than he himself. . . . ” (Films and Feelings, p. 232). The urban flaneur (Baudelaire: “a person who walks the city in order to experience it”) is naturally drawn to the shop window, as shop windows theatricalize desire, framing by means of the window casing toys, clothes, fashionably dressed mannequins, glittering baubles and beads—Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the boys and girls gazing at potential gifts in A Christmas Story, the puppy about which Patti Page sings in “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” But windows also reveal the truth, a world freed of illusion. Perhaps the best window song is therefore George Jones’ “Window Up Above,” in which the window up above voyeuristically allows, by chance, the singer to know the truth about his marriage, and express the heartbreak that follows: perversely, the window has allowed him to see the way things actually are, his wife in the arms of her lover: the horror and fascination of gazing into the face of Medusa.

The Window And The Flaneur:
50 Cent – Window Shopper
Aphex Twin – Window Licker
The Beatles – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
Jimi Hendrix – Blue Window
The Hollies – Look Through Any Window
George Jones – Window Up Above
Billy J. Kramer – From A Window
Metallica – Dirty Window
Patti Page – How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
The Rays – Silhouettes
U2 – Window in the Skies
Hank Williams – Window Shopping