A post on a forum has got me thinking about the way I enjoy certain movies. Hitchcock was a director who understood implicitly the voyeuristic nature of film. By watching these stories play out with images and sound we are getting a glimpse into a world we otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to see. Our curiosity is rewarded with drama. But is that voyeurism a good thing? And what happens when the voyeuristic eye is turned to settings of those less fortunate?
That’s the issue that was brought up in a discussion of Andrea Arnold’s film, Fish Tank. As part of a general criticism of the film, the poster on this forum also implied that the reason so many people, particularly non-Brits, loved the film was that it provided a luridly satisfying travelogue of underprivileged people living in a council estate. I immediately found the accusation offensive. Here is a film which I found deeply impacting and emotional. My love of the film stems from my love of the character. The setting is fascinating, but only as a place for this character to live in and deal with. The implication that the main reason I liked the film was to do with some sick satisfaction in watching how poor people live felt like a personal slight. Click to read more.