>It's interesting how often this technique--of an apparently subjective shot
>that includes the person who is apparently looking at the scene--shows up.
>It is exploited in a very obvious way by Dreyer in VAMPYR but Scorsese actually
>seems to pushing the limits of a fairly common Hollywood technique.
>For example, in CROSSFIRE, the character of "Mitch" falls down in a subjective
>flashback but as he gets back to his feet, he stands up into the camera's
>view. Even in STAGECOACH, which has very few subjective shots, after the
>shootout we see Dallas as the camera moves toward in a lurching gait,
>that it is Ringo who is walking toward her, but he too walks into the camera's
>view at the end.
I haven't been following this thread terribly closely because I've been in
and out of town, so I dont know if anyone has mentioned these, but Edward
Branigan's POINT OF VIEW IN THE CINEMA and his later NARRATIVE
COMPREHENSION IN FILM discuss these uses of narration and focalization as
part and parcel of the classical system, not at all as the deviant
practices some posters to this group suggest. In fact, NARRATIVE
COMPREHENSION IN FILM begins with a discussion of the first several minutes
of Hitchcock's THE WRONG MAN as an example of nested structures of
narration and point of view common to Hollywood.
In addition, David Bordwell's NARRATION IN THE FICTION FILM draws upon two
key works of literary theory/analysis, Gerard Genette's STORY AND
DISCOURSE, an analysis of Proust's novels, and Meir Sternberg's EXPOSITION
AND TEMPORAL ORDERING IN FICTION to generate a whole taxonomy of the moment
by moment process through which viewers construct a story (fabula) from the
events that transpire on the screen, the plot or syuzhet.
I'm not sure that terms like "first person" or "omniscient" are as useful
in discussing narrative film as are the formalist-derived concepts of
narrational knowledgeability (which includes both restricted and
unrestricted narration), communicativeness, and self-consciousness.
Bordwell's discussion of REAR WINDOW is a particularly lucid and (to me)
convincing elaboration of these concepts
Branigans POINT OF VIEW contains analyses of several films that critics
have labeled "first person" or "solipsistic" and is really worth a look.
Southern Methodist University
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