Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cullen, I've watched my share of Bergman films...grateful to have seen them, maybe not eager, considering all the unseen films I want to watch, to see them again now...but you are a wonder of new ideas. Want to throw into the discussion this from a hot-off-the-press film review in the new NYer (where else?), David Denby reviewing Match Point, near the end of which he writes "Filmmakers understand the laws of narrative all too well: an audience, properly hooked by point-of-view shooting, will root for a bank robber or a murderer to get away with what he's doing" (9 Jan. 2006: 92). I was struck by the expression "point-of-view shooting"--is that Denby's invention? In My Architect, do we have point-of-view shooting or point-of-view everything? Is there point-of-view shooting in BbkMtn? Guess I'm looking for a definition?


Blogger Cinema Journal said...

Hi Margaret--

I read the Denby this morning, and was blisteringly surprised that he had something nice to say about a movie...such a rarity. ("...the most vigorous thing he's done in years.") Not that he didn't have plenty of criticisms.

"Point of view" can sometimes refer to a camera shot that assums a character's eyes--like a first person narration. Robert Montgomery used this technique to the extreme in "Lady in the Lake" when the whole movie was shot through Marlowe's perspective.

I haven't seen "Match Point" yet (not in Maine either) but I think Denby is just referring to a general empathy in the film--that we relate to this character, and then he goes and commits murder, so the audience is aligned with his actions. Sort of a Hitchcockian thing to do...

I was glad to see Denby discuss Match Point so in-depth--though my "sources" (fellow Allen fans) seem to say it's more than dissapointing. One even said it's the worst thing he's ever made. (I nearly wept on the sushi.) So much to catch up on next week.


4:12 PM  
Blogger mfiore said...

Hi back,
Interesting that Hitchcock is such a lodestone...Christmas Eve day, we got together with cousins of my husband's, who gave their son an 8-pack (10-pack?) of Hitchcock DVDs to recognize but maybe elevate his taste for, shall we say, suspense...we adults all decided to have a PJ party and watch them all, sometime before winter's over...so I'm both overdue and eager for my Hitchcock re-innoculation. Do cineastes use the term "narratology" to refer to studying how the narrator affects the whole?
That's all she wrote,

7:10 PM  
Blogger Cinema Journal said...

Hi Margaret--

Yes, I have heard (and myself used) narratology in conjunction with movies before. There seems to be a lot of borrowing from literary theory, and other artistic theory and criticism. I've been meaning to become more familiar with literary theory for this reason...a friend recently gave me a book on European Lit Theory and Criticism, read an interesting esasy by Heidegger that could be applied easily to movies...about images being the basis for words. Can you point me in a few directions, perhaps, for more theory-oriented readings?


5:35 PM  

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