I’ve watched this video three or four times and I find it absolutely memorizing. I must admit, when we first started watching and crafting video essays, I was skeptical of the split screen as a tactic. It just felt odd to minimize and alter masterpieces and divide our attention. As I said in my last post, they often make my head hurt and I don’t think they’re always the most effective way to get a point across.
However, the more I watch the more I realize I was wrong, and this essay was absolutely the turning point. This essay uses 24 films to examine Hitchcock’s use of eye line matching and point of view shots. It’s one of those shots that’s so common in film we don’t really think about it, however, this video essay illustrates how there is in an art to crafting these types of shots. I think this goes back to video essays being a laboratory, where we are able to take apart films and see what makes them work. Here, we’re able to see Hitchcock, the master craftsman, at work.
This piece of criticism compliments the video essay I watched a few weeks ago , “Eyes of Hitchcock,” in which kogonada brilliant illustrates how essential the human eye is in Hitchcock’s films. In “Alfred Hitchcock//Point of View,” we see many of the same shots kogonada uses, however we get to actually see what the characters are looking at, and shows us how the image of the eyes are only half of their affect. The beautifully framed eyes in Hitchcock’s film lose their affect if we do not have an equally compelling image to match them with.
It seems obvious, but these shots also provide a kind of one, two punch. The best example I found in this essay was the side by side shots of Mrs. Danvers at the end of Rebecca. We see her surrounded by the flames that are rapidly engulfing Manderley. She is running around Rebecca’s room, clearly disoriented by the smoke. We then cut to a point of view shot of the flaming ceiling falling down on her. This allows us to feel her death, and has a tremendous affect. And this is clearly illustrated in this wonderful video essay.