Rope

In Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Rope” the consistent mention of astrology paired with candles that sit atop the chest holding David’s corpse. “She’s the Virgo type, like all these… you know” is said by Mrs. Attwater as she stands over the chest lit by candles. Brandon puts these candles here to signify the momentous occasion of David’s murder and to put the finishing touches on his “work of art.” The consistency of this language and pairing “ropes” the audience into a logic rooted in superstition. In doing so, we see the space in which Brandon and Philip commit murder as an unholy place tainted with superstitious values that are the inverted twin of Christianity. I say the inverted twin of Christianity because Christianity and astrology are the same in the way they cultivate a group of followers that believe in the presentation of pseudoscience or mythical stories as law and fact. Furthermore, astrology is supposed to uncover both what a person presents to the world and what is invisible to the world as it explains a person’s consciousness and unconsciousness. Astrology also examines what we, at our core desire, personality characteristics, and concepts we feel pressured by. In this film, the subject of Astrology is used to show us there is something hidden and sinful about the space as a representation of homosexual anxiety caused by heteronormativity, This anxiety is the impetus of murder both in the literal sense and the metaphorical. The murdering of the queered self is a ritualistic killing by which a man redeems and cleanses himself of sin and separates himself from his core desires.

Leave a Reply