1. I would describe the opening shot of RW as exposition; it is introducing me to the set, to L.B. Jeffries and his apartment complex. His back to his window leaves this first scan totally up to me. I'm a spectator, but I am, now, a part of the story as such. The music cues my feelings of being part of a light (perky?) albeit urban, early morning routine with the milk man delivery, kids at play (not at school + the heat = summer, yes?) Even the cat is up and about.
The shot becomes more voyeuristic as it progresses to more intimate viewings,spending a little longer focused on individuals, moving from the people at a distance on the balcony to the man shaving, then the couple sleeping on their fire escape to the bare back of the young woman. (note the nice urban touches of the trucks in the back of the set, the lone dog, even the pigeons and droppings on the roof) I am right at home.
2.I am also introduced to L.B. Jeffries who is not waking up, yet, probably because his leg is broken, so he is not going anywhere. The camera shot sans dialogue tells me not only is he a photographer, but whatever broke his leg broke his camera, too; he is a vigorous photographer, see the shots he has taken before on the wall? This accident wasn't a surprise; he's been in adventurous situations before--a bit on the daring side, probably a photo journalist. The second camera testifies to his being a committed photographer, and clearly it is his profession as I can see from the negative developed into the magazine cover. Does he know this blonde personally?
3. This scene does not make me feel voyeuristic, yet. This kind of accessible intimacy is not unusual in apartment living. You are always seeing and hearing snatches of your neighbors' lives, and not giving any of it a second thought. It is only in considering the cast on Jeffries's leg and the limitations it implies that I begin to feel a little trapped.
Instead of being voyeuristic, this opening scene reminds me of other city dwelling openings I have seen in movies. It could be a Doris Day/James Garner film, or West Side Story. It is the focus on Jeffries and his apartment that brings me into the room.
4. The most cinematic? If this were a stage play, I'd be struck by the intricacies of the set, so the film's intricacies leap out at me, but I'd have to review some other movies and rethink my definition of "cinematic" to answer this question. Is RW the most movie movie I've seen by Hitchcock? One where I am aware that I'm watching a movie more than I am involved with the story?
I think the purest moment I have had being simultaneously in the story, but fully conscious of having a cinematic experience at the same time, is the plane scene in North By Northwest. I will have to reconsider this question after seeing RW for a third time this Friday.