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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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Chapter 4: Towards Linearisation



Towards Linearisation

4.1. The Look and the Story

Among the issues dealt with in the previous chapter, one in particular now demands more attention. It is the issue of narrative – or, better, of the story – and its relationship with early cinema, especially with the status of the single view.

From a strictly narratological perspective, what characterises early cinema is not so much the presence or the absence of a story; rather, it is the different modality of performing it. In previous chapters we have seen that early cinema can tell a story, and that it is able to do so from the very beginning, even in a single view. On the other hand, it may happen that several views assembled in a single film do not tell stories of any kind.

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