GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Help
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
  Experimental/Avant-Garde
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
  Pre-Code
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
  Serials
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns


Public Discussions

topics
GreenCine Movie Talk
Home Releases
General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

it's like i'm actually there...
Topic by: postmod
Posted: September 24, 2003 - 2:49 PM PDT
Last Reply: September 25, 2003 - 8:18 PM PDT

author topic: it's like i'm actually there...
postmod
post #1  on September 24, 2003 - 2:49 PM PDT  
a question for the green cine community...

can you think of any other films that are presented entirely or mostly from a first-person camera point of view? by which i mean that the camera actually represents the viewpoint of a character we may or not see.

there are only two that i can think of at the moment, and one of them i haven't seen (though i'm dying to and it's first in my queue). that would be "suzhou river", the 1999 chinese film whose narrator is an amateur cameraman.

the other is "the lady in the lake", from the chandler novel. it's not on dvd and i doubt will ever be, as its only redeeming feature is really novelty value (especially in the fight and makeout scenes). i'm not counting "the blair witch project" because the camera gets passed so much.

i've been lazily thinking about writing something on this (once "suzhou" comes my way) so would love to know of any other films out there like these two and how they are.
postmod
post #2  on September 24, 2003 - 2:59 PM PDT  
i guess "russian ark" would fall into this category too? haven't come across someone who's actually seen it.
dpowers
post #3  on September 24, 2003 - 3:27 PM PDT  
a few more from the imdb

at greencine:
the fly - short, in the collection the world's greatest animation
the message
rabbit-proof fence
dpowers
post #4  on September 24, 2003 - 3:29 PM PDT  
one of the cool tricks at the imdb to remember, when you're looking for an unusual characteristic of the movie, be sure to click on the "more" link at the end of the "genre" list, you'll get all kinds of interesting keywords, such as "first-person-camera."
dpowers
post #5  on September 24, 2003 - 3:39 PM PDT  
interesting about the message (which has an awful description but it's been too long since i saw it for me to write a review now), the first person camerawork is a nifty way around the islamic law against representing mohammed's person, a biopic totally from the subject's point of view (avoiding mirrors and other reflective surfaces of course).
underdog
post #6  on September 24, 2003 - 3:50 PM PDT  
I'm wondering how we're defining this here; the two examples PostMod gave are films told literally from the first person, while some of the others are not literally from the audience-is-the character first person camera. Or at least, Rabbit Proof Fence was spiritually from the girls' point of view, but only a few sequences were 1st person. (Or am I not remembering it right?) If we are defining this a bit looser then the IMDB's list is indeed a good start. I think the movie Strange Days had some first person POV shots, no?

Ooh! Here are some others I just thought of:

84 Charlie MoPic (which, sadly, is not available on DVD but is on VHS) -- an incredibly underrated film which is told from the POV of a cameraman following troops in Vietnam. All his POV except for one shot (no spoilers).

The Blair Witch Project (multiple POVs, or is there just the one cameraperson? Can't remember)


And a great little film that is also, sadly, not available on DVD at the moment, filmed entirely in the 1st person: Thomas in Love.

underdog
post #7  on September 24, 2003 - 3:51 PM PDT  
Whoops. I overlinkified one of those, sorry! :-)

Also, I just noticed that Thomas in Love is available on DVD in Canada! I'm going to see if we can get that...


C
Cinenaut
post #8  on September 24, 2003 - 4:02 PM PDT  
Yeah, I was going to say I didn't remember Rabbit-Proof Fence using that much subjective camera.

Of course, if they ever made a movie of that Christopher Walken SNL routine, The Continental, you'd have a natural candidate.
DLeonard
post #9  on September 24, 2003 - 4:08 PM PDT  
I don't recall there being much POV shots in rabbit-proof fence, at least not enough to single it out for this topic.

I have two in mind, one certainly fits the criteria; Thomas in Love which I've never seen and I'm not finding in the GreenCine catalog.

But I have seen Albert Brooks's Real Life which has aged very well in this day and age of reality TV. While the camera is not the POV of the main character (Brooks), the cameramen are part of the film and characters are often addressing them or commenting on them. Would make an hilarious addition to said list.


DLeonard
post #10  on September 24, 2003 - 4:21 PM PDT  
Wow, you guys are fast!!

Well, if you are going to mention Strange Days then you must also point out Brainstorm which is very similar is concept and about 10 years earlier.

Besides being Natalie Wood's last film it also boasts Christopher "The Continental" Walken at his least creepiest.
dpowers
post #11  on September 24, 2003 - 5:14 PM PDT  
i haven't seen rabbit-proof fence yet so can't say, but reviews discuss a few present and flashback sequences shot from molly's point of view, including her breath and footsteps, and one that compares "inhabiting" molly with becoming a "complicit witness" in schindler's list and sort of discards both as playing into cultural domination by actively pursuing two sides of the same hollywood-style empathy.
postmod
post #12  on September 24, 2003 - 5:34 PM PDT  
thomas in love! i remember hearing about it...it definitely fits with the others i had in mind. would, well, love to see it if it can make its way from canadia.

i'm reluctant to include "fence" despite dpowers' very relevant description for fairly arbitrary reasons. this topic came up when i was talking with a friend about raymond chandler and the narrative voice of philip marlowe, and whether something like that could ever translate fully to film. which reminded me of "lady in the lake", then "suzhou river" and how the little red availability bar next to it never seems to move, hence the post.

but anyway i think there's something specific and weird about the entirely first-person camera that's distinct from just using the device in a limited sense. also, an arbitrary reason--just wanted to set some boundaries. i mean, the "monster vision" shots in evil dead 2 could also count as first person camera, sort of.

(before i seem totally unbearable, can i also say that i don't normally "discuss narrative voice" with my friends. we usually talk about wb shows. like smallville. and whether clark kent and lex luther will ever make out.)
dpowers
post #13  on September 24, 2003 - 6:40 PM PDT  
that's a good limit. makes me want to see RPF sooner than i was going to though...

rggg i'm already unbearable... i promise i'll never mention that series again, it was a joke, a joke!
Gradalis
post #14  on September 25, 2003 - 11:37 AM PDT  
Russian Ark definitely applies. I'm surprised that Delmer Daves' Dark Passage wasn't mentioned yet. It is perhaps the second most famous "first-person" film (after Lady in the Lake), although only the first-half is shot from Bogart's perspective.

If your interests can be contained in a single scene, there is a great sequence at the end of Spellbound.

-- Marlow
maigochan
post #15  on September 25, 2003 - 11:37 AM PDT  
Thomas in Love just went live in the GC catalog. Go queue it up (I already did).

>
> I have two in mind, one certainly fits the criteria; Thomas in Love which I've never seen and I'm not finding in the GreenCine catalog.
>
dpowers
post #16  on September 25, 2003 - 2:46 PM PDT  
here i rustled up a few more, searching for "subjective camera."

alien adventure - gc
summer of '42 - gc
waiting - gc

commissar
empty quarter
khroustaliov, my car!
knife in the head
little sister
mandy
variety
underdog
post #17  on September 25, 2003 - 2:52 PM PDT  
> On September 25, 2003 - 2:46 PM PDT dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> here i rustled up a few more, searching for "subjective camera."
>
> alien adventure - gc
> summer of '42 - gc
> waiting - gc
>

Not sure about the first one (what the hell *is* that about anyway), as far as I remember the other two here are pretty traditionally filmed. But there is probably a sequence within each that is first person POV.

Damn, where is 84 Charlie MoPic when you need it?

Yeah, it's interesting a few of the ones we've come up (and I bet there are more) are film noir. I recall a few that at least had some 1st person POV sequences -- wasn't the hallucination part of Murder My Sweet from the Dick Powell character's POV?

C
dpowers
post #18  on September 25, 2003 - 2:58 PM PDT  
i think "subjective camera" is meaning something broader. staying close to the main character's perception. anyway i haven't seen any of those...

re: noir & first-person POV: throwing out the objective camera = complete surrender to moral ambiguity?
underdog
post #19  on September 25, 2003 - 4:09 PM PDT  
> On September 25, 2003 - 2:58 PM PDT dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> i think "subjective camera" is meaning something broader. staying close to the main character's perception. anyway i haven't seen any of those...
>
> re: noir & first-person POV: throwing out the objective camera = complete surrender to moral ambiguity?
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Well, it's in keeping with a lot of the books on which those films were inspired or based -- often written in the first person. Which is why quite a few films noir, even the traditional ones, employed a 1st person narrator VO, to maintain that feeling as well as keep some of the choice lines from those books.

ColonelKong
post #20  on September 25, 2003 - 8:18 PM PDT  
It's not a whole movie, but Brian De Palma's Sisters has a memorable first-person scene near the end.

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.