From: gyoungblood (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Aug 17 2006 - 16:48:11 PDT
When we hear a character speak over a (usually) medium closeup of his/her
face and the lips are not moving, we are being asked to interpret this as an
interior monologue, which I take to mean talking to oneself. But in the
majority of these scenes the speech is not what it would be if the person
really were talking to him/herself, and past-tense is the giveaway. So most
so-called interior monologues are actually attempts to disguise an
extradiegetic narration so that it doesn't "rupture" the diegetic illusion.
It rides the fence between the two. You could call that clever, but you
could also call it conservative, possibly even cowardly. A real interior
monologue, does, in some sense, unsettle the diegesis because we know it's
impossible to hear a person's thoughts. In any case, the interlocutor
presumably addressed by both genuine and "false" interior monologues is
always us, the audience.
Of course, past tense can certainly be used within an overall present-tense
speech, and thus be authentically interior. And, as we all know, an interior
monologue doesn't have to be in the vernacular. It can be sublime, as in
Hamlet. Someone mentioned Olivier's Hamlet, which I find laughable, as I do
most of his overdetermined histrionics. The best Hamlet ever is Kozintsev's.
The soliloquy is done voice-over, with Hamlet's back to the camera, which
enormously enhances the sense of interiority.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Flannery" <email suppressed>
To: <email suppressed>
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2006 3:42 PM
Subject: Re: [FRAMEWORKS] interior monologue
> Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 10:11:59 PM, one spoke:
> g> Good point about Grizzly Man. I like grey-area cases like that.
> g> Regarding the noir example, the past-tense "was" makes it voice-over
> g> narration (i.e., extradiegetic) disguised as an interior monologue.
> g> If the guy was really talking to himself he'd say "She's trouble.
> g> Ain't that just like a dame.." or something like that.
> Hm, actually I'm not sure now if the Kern film qualifies ... it's been
> over a decade since I last saw it (and I don't have a copy here), it may
> be rendered in the past tense. Sort of an odd bird, it's a string of
> masturbatory fantasies so there's a feeling of "internal nowness" to the
> voice, regardless of the spoken tense.
> This is sort of an interesting question ... in films with a past-tense
> v/o, is it assumed/intended to be read as an *interior* monolog, or is
> there an assumed interlocutor (I mean, excepting those cases like
> _Double Indemnity_ where it's made explicit)?
> Jim Flannery
> email suppressed
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.