Volume 16, 2016
Film and Phenomenology
The Cinematic Point of View
Thinking Film with Merleau-Ponty
Previously unpublished fragments of Merleau-Ponty’s insights about cinema have added an important layer to our understanding of the medium. In this paper I examine these fragments along with some of Merleau-Ponty’s other observations about cinema, in the context of his work on perception and temporality. My aim is to show how his thought is relevant for understanding an important topic in film theory: cinematic point of view. With Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological articulation of what it is to see, the possibility opens up of conceptualizing the structure of cinematic point of view as a “whole” that is concomitantly dynamic and always plural.