The Power of Point of View

point of view on SCREEN rss

“Crazy Rich Asians”: an ALMOST perfect movie experience – GARY YAMASAKI

September 6, 2018

It’s rare that I see a movie that grabs my attention in the first scene and has a stranglehold on it ’til the last. . .but I saw one just recently: Crazy Rich Asians. I found it to be the most perfectly executed movie I’ve ever seen. . .except for one thing: the point-of-view crafting in… Read More ›

The Fire Scene of “This is Us” from a Different Perspective – GARY YAMASAKI

The NBC hit “This is Us” is known for its deft interweaving of one family’s experiences back in the ’80s and ’90s with its experiences in present day, and this skillful juxtapostion of past and present events is, of course, point-of-view manipulation. . .the first scene serving to position the viewers in a particular vantage… Read More ›

Creative Point-of-View Editing in “Homeland” – GARY YAMASAKI

When I watched the final episode of the third season of Showtime’s hit drama Homeland, I thought the series was over. All three seasons had focused on the interaction between U.S. Marine Nicholas Brody and CIA operative Carrie Mathison, and when Brody was killed off at the end of season 3, thus terminating the Brody-Mathison interaction,… Read More ›

“Grey’s Anatomy” goes where T.V. Point-of-View Crafting has never gone before – GARY YAMASAKI

Dr. Amelia Shepherd’s lecture in the Feb. 26 episode of Grey’s Anatomy has forever changed the way I think about cancerous tumours, and this is at least in part a result of the point-of-view moves she executes in describing the massive tumour imbedded in the brain of colleague Dr. Nicole Herman. Amelia projects an image of the… Read More ›

Is “Fresh Off the Boat” Really Told from Eddie’s Point of View? – GARY YAMASAKI

As I sit down to write about ABC’s new sit-com “Fresh Off the Boat,” there are many facets of this outstanding show I would like to address. But I will stick with the script and focus on the point-of-view dynamics arising in its premiere episode. This series is based on the memoirs of Chinese-American master… Read More ›

Point-of-View Crafting in “Jesus Movies” – GARY YAMASAKI

Over the past two years, several of my posts on this blog have consisted of using what I have learned about point of view to explore the point-of-view crafting in popular movies. Recently, I came across a book that includes in its analysis of various Jesus films discussions on point of view: Savior on the… Read More ›

Season Premiere of “Castle”: Mastery in Manipulating Informational Point of View – GARY YAMASAKI

One of the things I looked forward to with the launch of the fall TV season was finally being able to get more Castle. And as I reflect on Monday’s season premiere, I cannot help but marvel at the producers’ skillful manipulation of the informational plane of point of view in the episode (NOTE: “spoilers”… Read More ›

“24: Live Another Day” – The Difference You Felt is due to a New Point-of-View Strategy – GARY YAMASAKI

I was a big “24” fan during its eight-year run, sticking with it through thick and thin. So, it was with a great deal of anticipation that I sat down to watch the two-hour premiere of this year’s incarnation of the show to immerse myself in another “day”–well, “half day”–in the life of Jack Bauer.   Very… Read More ›

“The Hunger Games”: Challenges in Converting the Novel into a Movie

This post explores the translation of The Hunger Games from novel to movie. However, it does not focus on the usual issues of how closely the movie version retains the details and themes of the novel. Rather, it focuses on how closely the movie version retains the point-of-view crafting of the novel, a challenging task… Read More ›

Point-of-View Crafting in T.V. Time Travel: “Castle” vs. “Continuum” – GARY YAMASAKI

When I noted an interesting point-of-view dynamic in the latest episode of Castle, I was reminded that the world of television is under-utilized as a source for illustrating dynamics at work in written narratives. During the investigation of a gruesome murder, suspect Simon Doyle blurts out he’s from the future. . .which prompts Castle to say, “This… Read More ›

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the Biblical Exclamatory “Behold!” – GARY YAMASAKI

For me, the most memorable shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark comes early in the movie, even before archeologist Indiana Jones starts out in search of the Ark. Before embarking on that quest, Indy is working to secure a valuable idol from deep in a cave, and is on his way out when he… Read More ›

Clark Kent as Subject or Object in “Man of Steel”?

When attempting to determine through which character’s point of view an audience is being led to experience the events of a story line, it is tempting simply to pick the character who is most prominently featured. And usually, this will yield the correct answer. . .but not always. This post will use a look at… Read More ›

LIFE OF PI’s “two conflicting stories”: Which to Believe is in Point-of-View Crafting

by GARY YAMASAKI   Ang Lee’s multi-Oscar winning Life of Pi contains two accounts of the circumstances surrounding the title character’s surviving a shipwreck, two accounts that differ significantly from one another. The movie itself never provides an explicit indication as to which of these two accounts reflects what actually happened to Pi. But it… Read More ›

“Memento”: a Masterpiece in Point-of-View Manipulation – GARY YAMASAKI

What would it be like to be unable to remember anything for more than five minutes? Director Christopher Nolan attempts to capture this in his Memento (2000), sketching out a storyline in which protagonist Leonard Shelby works to discover who murdered his wife while hampered by anterograde amnesia, a brain dysfunction that prevents one from… Read More ›

Psychological-Plane Point of View and the Movie “Open Water” – CHARLES AARON

In the 2004 indie film Open Water, a young couple, Susan and Daniel, take a vacation to escape the stress of their lives and jobs. They go to a tropical location for scuba diving. Due to a mistake by the employees of the charter boat that has taken them out, Daniel and Susan end up left… Read More ›

Narration in Film: Edward Branigan on Point of View versus Focalization – LAURA COPIER

In this short post, I’d like to introduce  one of the key works in the field of narration and film: Edward Branigan’s 1992 study Narrative Comprehension and Film. For a thorough introduction to cinematic narration and its links to literary devices  I would suggest reading Branigan in tandem with David Bordwell’s monumental  Narration in the… Read More ›

“The Hobbit” – a Review from a Unique Point of View

by GARY YAMASAKI   The blogosphere is swarming with reviews of “The Hobbit,” so what else can be said? Well, this is a blog on perspective criticism, and a look at The Hobbit from the point of view of “Point of View” would stand out from the rest. So, just like earlier posts have examined… Read More ›

Synching Minds: “Butch Cassidy” and the Informational Plane of Point of View

by GARY YAMASAKI   The classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid makes for an intriguing study in  point-of-view crafting. Such a study could explore any of the three planes of point of view developed in earlier posts, but it is the informational plane that will be the focus of this post. The Oct 25/2012 post… Read More ›

“Primary Colors”: When a movie about the Clintons is NOT a movie about the Clintons

by GARY YAMASAKI   Primary Colors (1998) presents a story set in 1992 of Jack Stanton, a philandering southern governor, vying for the presidency. Sound familiar? John Travolta, who plays the governor, even sports a Clintonesque accent. Not surprisingly, all the action of the movie swirls around Jack and his wife Susan–the Hillary character. But… Read More ›

Point-of-view crafting as the engine that drives “Anti-Hero” movies – GARY YAMASAKI

The genre of “anti-hero” films is especially relevant in a discussion of point-of-view dynamics. In fact, the very nature of an anti-hero movie is totally dependent on the workings of point of view. With movies of this genre, the protagonist is given characteristics not ordinarily associated with heroes, but with villains, a characterization that would… Read More ›