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July 2003, Week 4


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Michael Friedman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 Jul 2003 09:27:26 -0400
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        Please entertain a request for guidance from a new member of the
list.  For many years, I have considered myself a Shakespearean
performance critic, but recently my interest has shifted from
Shakespeare on stage to Shakespeare on the screen.  I am not as well
versed in film theory as I would like to be, and I find myself in need
of advice about where to go to read more about a particular aspect of
point of view in cinema.
        My current scholarly project examines two recent Shakespeare
films in which the director takes a minor character in the play and
expands that figure's part in the film to the extent that the audience,
in the words of one of the directors, "sees the action through his
eyes."  The director does not mean this comment literally (the film
employs point of view shots only sparingly), but rather, the director
seems to imply that the experience of the story is filtered through the
consciousness of this marginally involved character, who is frequently
shown watching and reacting silently to the events of the narrative.  I
would prefer to use accepted film terminology to refer to this figure,
if such terms exist, and I would also like to read as much as I can
about point of view in film that might relate to this situation.
        So far, my efforts at scanning bibliographies in textbooks and
critical works on film have not produced any titles that seem
promising.  Can anyone suggest any books or articles in which I might
find treatments of such a figure or the concept of point of view in
general?  Thanks in advance for your help.
Michael D. Friedman
University of Scranton
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