Can the camera really ‘equate vision with truth?’
Edward Branigan brings up a really interesting argument in his article. Can the camera be the true narration to a film? What I found most intriguing about this argument was when he starts to describe Colin MacCabe’s theory of a “hierarchy of discourses.” He states that, “A hierarchy permits the spectator to make judgments and to measure relative truth moment by moment. At the end of the story, for example, the spectator is finally able to solve all the enigmas of character and action because the structure of disparities responsible for managing the partial truths of the plot becomes known through the camera. Thus one function of a graded hierarchy is to conceal and delay the end of the story presenting the events through ‘less knowledgeable agencies (e.g., characters) at appropriate moments” (Branigan 74). This really stuck out to me because it reminded me of a television show. I have recently become disgustingly hooked on Dexter, the Showtime series, and I could not help but think of this particular show while reading this. The director consistently creates something much like MacCabe’s argument that Branigan describes. Every single episode concludes with a delay in the story and almost every television drama will continuously draw out the end of the story. What makes Dexter, in my opinion, so brilliantly done is how the camera will draw out the story in itself. I am going to add a particular clip from the show below which I think will show what I mean. If you’re a big Dexter fan and haven’t seen the whole series DO NOT watch the next clip, It’s a big spoiler. If you could care less about the show please take a look at it because the way the camera zooms in on the characters during a particular reaction is a narration in itself.
I think this is a really great example of how a camera could really become a narrator in itself and it definitely allows for MaCabe’s theory to really show that the truth becomes known through the camera and that the ending is defiantly delayed especially in television