Point of view, consciousness and interaction
in Classical Hollywood cinema
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Chapter 1 critiques the conceptualisations of character consciousness and interaction offered by a range of existing accounts of filmic point of view. It argues that positing a too far-reaching distinction between an inner realm of thought and feeling and an outer realm of behaviour and objects falsifies the nature of human experience, and does not do justice to some of film’s particular strengths in depicting character experience. An alternative view is offered, which draws upon a range of philosophical arguments (most significantly, those of Heidegger, Ryle, Wittgenstein and Matthew Ratcliffe), and is developed via detailed analysis of the chapter’s two case study films: Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Capra, 1936). Vertigo is offered as a film whose rigorous treatment of point of view can teach us much about that concept, but also as a singular film whose protagonist might be seen to replicate some of the limited ways of seeing of film studies – blind spots which Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is used to overcome.

Classical Hollywood cinema

Point of view and communication

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