Tell Me Whose Sight I’m Seeing

Arnheim asks a question and brings up a very significant idea when it comes to film viewing, critiquing and adaptation and both fortunately and sadly it many times comes down to this when determining who to blame for the way a film turned out. Arnheim states that today, the acknowledgement of the script writer is far less present than the acknowledgment of the director when discussing the idea of whose vision we are seeing on screen. We sadly as an audience, with the way in which directors nowadays can become as much of a celebrity personality or as well known as the actors they direct (Michael Bay, Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, James Cameron), tend to place the director in the visionary seat despite the fact that it may very well be the writers vision we are seeing. However Arnheim is correct in saying its difficult to discern whose vision we are watching on screen. Adaptation can sometimes occur twofold, both from the source material (in the case of a book or previous form) to script and then from script to actual film. It is my belief that in almost all cases we are seeing a groups vision, not just that of anyone person unless we of course are talking about individuals like some of the aforementioned directors who both write and direct. Nevertheless I do not think that we ever truly only see one persons vision but rather the collectives.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in 03 Arnheim, Balázs, Woolf. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tell Me Whose Sight I’m Seeing

  1. You made me wonder if the same is true for the author of novels–can we be perfectly certain we know that we are seeing one person’s vision (instead of the editor or publisher or even the audience’s)?

  2. Sara Tener says:

    In my opinion, film is a collaborative art that admits variations that are not necessarily conceived by the writer or director. There are a number of shows on American and English television that engage in improvisation to a positive effect. As I understand, The Office and Wilfred are adaptations in the American market. However, it is clear that, without particular charaters, this venture would not be successful. This speaks to concept that, occassionally, the actor is one of the major contributors of the plot.

Comments are closed.