I am in total agreement with Scott's comments concerning why James Ryan
could see the battle at Omaha Beach. However, I felt that this was a
major flaw and to me totally took away from the realism of the film.
On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Scott Hutchins wrote:
> My suggestion as to why James Ryan could see the battle in his imagination
> is that he had seen combat, so the Omaha Beach section was based on
> collective memory and the stories he would have heard about the battle.
> Scott Andrew Hutchins
> Oz, Monsters, Kamillions, and More!
> Frances: I've led a pretty boring life compared to yours.
> Freddy [the neighbor]: Mine was pretty boring, too. I've just got a
> knack for picking out the interesting bits.
> --David Williamson
> _Travelling North_
> Act Two Scene Three
> On Tue, 29 Sep 1998, Damian Peter Sutton wrote:
> > I think that it should be pointed out, re: narration and tha
> > first/third person, that the history of cinema is replete
> > with instances of the narration switching from character to
> > character, and to leaving characters completely. This is
> > shown by the continual use of distanciation and estrangement
> > by filmmakers such as Robert Bresson and Jean Luc Godard.
> > In this way, narration is structured in Hollywood films by
> > its presence in others.
> > The argument should not be:
> > Why doesn't Spielberg continue with narration through one
> > individual? Or give us privileged information beyond the
> > character?
> > but:
> > When Spielberg changes narrator, what is the reason for it,
> > and how does this advance the story?
> > It's a semantic point, but every film which comes long like
> > this sparks the same debate, which only goes to show that
> > consistent narrative through a single person is a paradigm
> > established partly by its own absence.
> > If there are inconsistencies in Spielbergs reasons for the
> > change of narrator, (not just the spoken narrator, but the
> > character to which the spectator is sutured) then there
> > should be sufficient grounds for criticism.
> > As to mystery films, Charles Derry's point is apt. If we are
> > to continue to believe that film excites the scopophilia of
> > the spectator, the generalised pleasure of the investigative
> > look, mystery films seem ideal in exciting the audiences
> > curiosity in such a way. The investigative look, however,
> > still exists in other films, and the device of disguise and
> > revelation (what will Ryan be like/act like, when we meet
> > him) is apparent in all films. It should surely follow that
> > the change in narrator not only keeps the audience
> > 'working' to understand, but constantly excites and satiates
> > the scopophilic tendencies through the novelty of
> > points-of-view.
> > Changes in narration like this are best exemplified in
> > sequences themselves, and in particular the
> > shot-reverse-shot.
> > Some S-r-S sequences require the agency of the characters,
> > (with the camera over the shoulder) to develop the
> > continuity. But in sequences in which the plot places another
> > character as the viewer of a spectacle in which the narrator
> > is a part, the logical pattern of shots to satisfy the viewer
> > is the point-of-view shot from the second character.
> > This may sound confusing, so here's an example:
> > In the circus scene in Quo Vadis (LeRoy, 1951), the
> > spectator is asked to follow the narrator Marcus, who is
> > forced to watch his lover be killed in the circus. The shot
> > pattern switches from him, to his lover, to her champion in
> > the circus, and the Emperor. Each holds the narration for
> > the period of their 'viewpoint'. In fact, the sequence is as
> > much about the battle for narration as it is about the fight
> > for life/honour.
> > (This textual analysis is clumsy, I'm afraid, but I'm a
> > little fuzzy)
> > It's wrong to place the narration in one character, because
> > few filmmakers do it themselve, and most provide the
> > narration for the investigative gaze of the spectator to 'act
> > as narrator for themselves'.
> > ----------------------
> > Damian Peter Sutton
> > [log in to unmask]
> > ----
> > To sign off SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
> > in the message. Problems? Contact [log in to unmask]
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama.
To sign off SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message. Problems? Contact [log in to unmask]