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It might help to look at David Bordwell's ON THE HISTORY OF FILM STYLE
and THE AMERICAN CINEMA, by Bordwell, Kristin Thompson and Janet
Staiger.  Bordwell in particular notes the ways in which early cinema
stages scenes in the recognition of the presence of the camera.

Don Larsson

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"Only connect"  --E.M. Forster
Donald F. Larsson
Department of English, AH 230
Minnesota State U, Mankato (56001)
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-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Butsch [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 12:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: eye contact

I would like some feedback about movies of the nickelodeon and later
silent era.

In these movies, how uncommon or common was an actor looking directly
into the camera "at" the audience?? Did the rarely or never happen? Was
it a standard "shot" or  technique? I recall actors looking toward but
past the camera to express shock or dismay, but not directly into the
camera to make "eye contact" with audiences.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Richard Butsch

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