Re: interior monologue

From: JASON MIDDLETON (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Aug 15 2006 - 15:54:38 PDT

Another thing perhaps worth noting is the construction in documentary
film of moments that suggest an interior monologue. When a subject's
dialogue recorded in one scene or in an interview is matched with
images of him/her in a different scene silently going about some
business--driving, cooking, etc.--the editing creates the impression
of giving us access to the subject's thoughts. One sees this
technique in some portrait documentaries from the 60s and 70s, like
Kernochan and Smith's film Marjoe, and it's used in An American
Family. Nowadays, you see it all the time, in films like American Movie.

Jason Middleton
Department of English/Film and Media Studies Program
University of Rochester

On Aug 15, 2006, at 5:17 PM, Ken Bawcom wrote:

> I do understand the distinction you are making, but I think at
> times it can be a close call. In Kurosawa's "Dersu Uzala," it's
> definitely voice-over narration, but in "Ikiru," I'd call it a
> genuine interior monologue. As you noted, film noir (I'm a big fan)
> is rife with both sides of the line. I would argue that films such
> as "Dark Passage," and "Lady In The Lake," where we don't even see
> the protagonist, but see through their eyes, are meant to be true
> interior monologue, and I accept them as such. There are at least a
> couple of noir films where the protagonist has lost their memory,
> and we get what I would call a true interior monologue. Sorry,
> their names elude me at the moment! It's been so long since I saw
> it that I can't be sure, but I think of Richard Lester's film "The
> Bed Sitting Room" as having interior monologue.
> Ken B.
> Quoting gyoungblood <email suppressed>:
>> I'm looking for examples in narrative cinema of real interior
>> monologues, as opposed to voice-over narration disguised as an
>> interior monologue, as in "Sunset Boulevard." A real interior
>> monologue is first-person present-tense speech in which the
>> protagonist talks to him or herself, not to the spectator. In
>> other words, subjective rather than objective speech. For example,
>> the protagonist might be lost and we hear him or her say "Where am
>> I?" Or they are drunk and say, "Wow, I drank too much!" I saw a
>> great one recently in an Anthony Mann noir (I think), where a
>> single monologue goes from objective to subjective and back to
>> objective. But I can't remember the title. I don't want to
>> restrict this to story movies. Experimental examples would be
>> great as long as the monologue is actually spoken. I have already
>> thought of Kuchar.
>> Gene Youngblood
>> Department of Moving Image Arts
>> The College of Santa Fe
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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.