P to the O-V

Art’s alchemy resides in the relationship between the art and the audience. 

For movies, the corporeal nature of this relationship boils down to the distance between the viewer and the screen. 

Which is why I’m so anal about where I sit in a theater. Case in point:

When I’m too close to the front, I conflate my personal vantage point — looking up at the screen— with the location of the camera in relation to the action. Which is to say: I confuse the extreme angle of my sightline with the camera’s POV; is the camera actually pointed up at whatever it’s facing, or does my subterranean perspective distort a level frame into appearing like it’s sloped?

If you’re asking, “Who gives a shit?”…

Well, first off, that’s fair.

But second off:

I do believe in the importance of maintaining an awareness of the camera’s physical, spatial relationship to what’s being depicted. If the camera is the bedrock of the medium (it’s literally our portal into every aspect of a movie), then staying abreast of its positioning — is it on the same playing field? or looking down on? or gazing up at? — can pay dividends of potential meaning in return.

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