Famous Windows in movies

The Death Star window in Star Wars. Luke falls through this window during his epic fight with ‘dad’

The window in Florence where Julian Sands and Helena Bonham Carter are seen in film Room with a View.


Romeo and Juliet and the ‘Balcony ‘ scene.

Bagpuss in the shop window

The final scene in The Graduate where Dustin Hoffmann bangs on the glass.

The window of which Zhora, the Replicant, jumps through to escape bounty hunter Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford in Blader

The window of The Broom Shop in Harry Potter film

Jimmy Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock’ thriller Rear Window.

Windows and symbolism

Windows, symbolically, can often represent a portal. A view into another world. Perhaps an inner world or a view into your soul. It is also a barrier, a place to view the world but unable to participate.

Seeing through a window and desiring what’s on the other side is also a common theme. There is a great scene in ‘Once upon a time in America’ by Martin Scorsese where a young boy sees a cake through the glass and buys it for a girl but he ends up eating it himself.

There are so many films were the protagonist sees their hearts desire through the shop window. Would be interesting to collate all those cliché scenes in one place.


Famous opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s where Holly Golightly looks through the window in the at Tiffany’s jewellery in the film, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

more window action from the same film.


Another device is the viewing through the window to create a sense of danger or potential threat. A suspense tool.


The use of  Mirrors and doorways can give you a sense that they lead to a magical world but it is the act of viewing through something that determines the intention.


Windows in literature and Art

I have been researching Windows used in literature and Art and one of the poems I discovered by Tennyson was The Lady of Shallot which is about a woman who can only look through a mirror ,out of a window, because of a curse. I like the idea of playing with mirrors and reflecting secret worlds or fantasy. It is also tied up in Victorian Pre – Raphaelites and their Romanticism.



I experimented with photographing William Morris’ home, the Red House , through a viewfinder. I wanted to focus on the windows of his house. I thought it was significant to use William Morris because of his Pre – Raphaelite connections and his focus on hand crafted and hand made artisan furniture, art and objects. It ties in with my investigation about slow and low technologies.


Also, Charles Baudelaire write a poem called, Windows.

Looking from outside into an open window one never sees as much as when one looks through a closed window.
There is nothing more profound, more mysterious, more pregnant, more insidious, more dazzling than a window lighted by a single candle.
What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what goes on behind a windowpane…

I then tried to use a device to take a picture through a window frame … I think I’m going to try and use my multiplane frame next as a way to get the depth.


Other famous windows in literature include Rapunzel, Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovery, Peter Pan and The Secret Garden.


Windows as a device in art, literature and film.

Inspired by the a tutorial with Graham I am encouraged to follow the ideas and themes of Windows and framing scenes that I have been skirting around for 6 months. I like the idea of viewing through something, artistic voyeurism and peepshows so I am thinking of looking at windows in art, film and literature as my starting point. How is the window used as a device for drama, metaphor and helping with storytelling.

I have thought about photographing through windows in my street before as they always look so cosy. It is the fantasy and anticipation of being in the view that appeals rather than the reality.



Empty chair through window

I have secretly taken photos today to see how it would work and realise you need to get closer but it feels really intrusive, even though there are no people in the photos. The act of taking a photo makes you feel like you are breaking the law or afraid you may be caught.

I also talked to Graham about how the window , depending on which side you’re on, is also a constraint as it stops you from accessing the view you may be longingly looking at. If you were imprisoned or house bound through illness. It is about perspective and what side of the window you sit.

In theatre, windows can divide a stage, create a new space, tell a secondary story. In film, the window is a camera point of view rather than a physical thing.

The Alfred Hitchcock film, Rear window, is a film about a man who is confined to a wheelchair who has nothing else to do apart from view the world from his top floor window.

Rear Window  

So I feel like my research so far links in nicely this theme.

The ideas of being an outsider, looking in. The ideas around framing a scene and viewing through a portal into a world unknown to us. The notion that it is accessible to us but can also be  a private or personal space.


I had a look at artists who use windows in their photography.




Anne Laure Maison and her project, ‘Fenetre’