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Between the Eye and the World

The Emergence of the Point-of-View Shot


Elena Dagrada

The point-of-view shot is usually perceived as a «natural» device, yet its naturalness is illusory. This book provides an answer to the question: «Where does the point-of-view shot come from?» It investigates the emergence of this filmic form as the product of a culture and its history, unravelling the difference between a point-of-view shot and a character’s subjective viewpoint. In so doing, it shows that what would become the point-of-view shot developed from the interposition, between the eye and the world, of a prosthesis capable of modifying the conditions needed to access the visible, and thus to expand the potential of human vision. Moreover, the book offers inspiration for further research on modern (and postmodern) vision as a mediated vision, an important topic in contemporary debates in the digital media landscape.
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About the author


Elena Dagrada is Professor of Cinema Studies at the Università degli Studi di Milano. She was a member of the Executive Committee of Domitor (the international association for the study of early cinema) from 1993 to 1997 and wrote the second edition of its International Bibliography on Early Cinema (1995). Among her other books are La grande rapina al treno. The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter, 1903) e la storia del cinema (2011), and Le varianti trasparenti. I film con Ingrid Bergman di Roberto Rossellini (2005), winner of the Limina prize for the Best Italian Film Studies Book and published in a second enlarged edition in 2008. Since 2012, she has been in charge of Mimesis’ series, “Cinema/Origini”.

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