DEC Scan Journal : February 2013
Volume 32, February 2013 32 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews is on a television. We see the boy sitting in a chair watching television. The image is a mid-to-close view of the boy’s upper body and head, with his head tilted slightly forward towards the television set, of which we see one rear corner. The angle is slightly oblique, so that he is not quite facing out to the viewer. We see him move his head closer to the television set, and then in the next shot we see the television screen. So from this combination of shots the inferred or evoked mediated point of view is that of the boy, and the viewer is positioned as the boy watching the television. It is also possible for the reader to share a character’s point of view rather than being positioned as the character. The reader’s view subsumes that of the character. The reader sees the character, or part of the character, while also seeing what the character sees from that character’s perspective. This is achieved by having the reader view what is depicted along with or over the shoulder of the focalising character. The over the shoulder view can be achieved by positioning the reader’s point of view as being from slightly to the rear and to one side of the focalising character. This is frequently utilised in the movie of The lost thing through a close- up foreground image of the right side and rear of the boy’s head and shoulder, constructing our point of view as over the shoulder. In fact this occurs within the first minute of the story, as shown in Figure 3, when the boy stoops to pick up a bottle top for his collection and locate the specimen in his collector’s catalogue. Figure 3 Collecting bottle tops – viewing along with the boy In the book, the images position the reader predominantly as an outside observer. There are only two occasions when it is possible to infer that the reader is positioned to have the point of view of the boy. The first is in relation to the newspaper advertisement mentioned above. The full page image showing this advertisement appears on the left of one double page opening. The text on the bottom on the previous page reads: I was wondering what to do when a small advertisement on the last page of the newspaper happened to catch my eye. On turning the page the reader sees the advertisement in the full page image of the newspaper. While there is no image of the boy associated with the newspaper, the first person narrative on the previous page, and then the appearance of the advertisement fully occupying the next page, does suggest the visual-verbal collaboration in evoking the boy’s point of view. The second example occurs later in the story when the right side of the double page spread depicts the boy’s arm and hand about to press a door buzzer, and the text reads: I pressed a buzzer on the wall and this big door opened up. The subsequent page shows the bizarre characters and happenings inside that door, again strongly evoking the boy’s point of view. There is a very substantial contrast to the book in the point of view options employed in the movie. The movie involves many occasions when we are positioned to have a point of view synonymous with that of the boy and a number of occasions when we are positioned as the boy or as the lost thing. There are almost no such occasions in the book. This, combined with the predominance of long distance, observe images in the book compared with plentiful close- ups and a number of contact images in the movie, construct the engagement of the reader with the story in book format as an appreciative, somewhat detached observation, but in the movie as empathetic, and more like standing in the shoes of the characters (Painter, Martin et al, in press). Rear view images in the movie of The lost thing As mentioned above, the over the shoulder view can be achieved by positioning the point of view of the reader/viewer as being from slightly to the rear and to one side of the focalising character. But it can also be achieved by positioning the reader/viewer directly behind the focalising character, which may be seen as a stronger alignment with the focalising character’s point of view (Unsworth, 2006, pp.95-97). The option of contact is obviously not available for There is a very substantial contrast to the book in the point of view options employed in the movie.