You can read Tom Brown's essay on the above video here.
[L]istening back to our conversation, I was worried about how often the two of us [...] said that characters in the film “look at us” – it is absolutely my claim about direct address that the device makes this possible (possible fictionally), though I think one has to be careful and clear about distinguishing between looks “at us” and ones that, though they might be at the camera, don’t quite carry this promise. However, on reflection, I think Catherine’s video essay brings out something that is very clearly in the film and that is how our position as spectators of Los Olvidados is something we are encouraged to reflect on; our “presence” is an active part of the film’s rhetoric. [Tom Brown on his conversation with Catherine Grant in the videos above: Breaking the Fourth Wall Tumblr, April 15, 2013]
As previously announced here, Film Studies For Free's author had the very great pleasure of interviewing Tom Brown, Lecturer in Film Studies at King's College, London, on the subject of direct address in the cinema, a topic he knows a huge amount about as author of one of the very few full length studies completely dedicated to it: Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012).
The conversation, recorded on Friday March 1, 2013, has been animated in video by FSFF's author and is presented above in two parts which are preceded by a short compilation video of the moments in Luis Buñuel's 1950 film Los olvidados when actors/characters look into the camera; these instances are discussed in detail in Part Two of the "Cinematic Direct Address" videos. You can read Tom's essay on the first video at his wonderful Tumblr on Direct Address here.
The videos are accompanied below, as is this blog's wont, by a sizeable compendium of links to further online scholarly studies of this (of course not exclusively) cinematic phenomenon.
In the period of time between recording this interview and completing the editing of it for this blog, Leigh Singer's great video 'supercut' on breaking the fourth wall (linked to below) was published, to much merited acclaim, at PressPlay. If you know of any further videographic studies of cinematic direct address, or indeed any other good resources to add to the below list, please let FSFF know about them via the comments.
By the way, if there are any east coast of Ireland-based readers of this blog perusing this paragraph, FSFF's author is gearing up to visit the very fair city of Dublin at the end of this week to give a public lecture and participate in a panel discussion at a free event on digital forms of film and moving image studies at Filmbase in Temple Bar.
Her fellow panel participants will be BF Taylor (Film Studies, Dublin Business School; see his great collection of video essays here), Matthew Causey (Arts Technology Research Lab, Trinity College Dublin), Kylie Jarrett, Lecturer in Multimedia (Centre for Media Studies, NUI Maynooth) and Steven Benedict, Broadcaster, Writer, Producer (and author of some very fine video essays on film himself - watch them here).
It would be lovely to break this blog's own fourth wall and see you there!
- Deborah Allison, 'Novelty title sequences and self-reflexivity in classical Hollywood cinema', Screening the Past, Issue 20, 2006
- Philip J. Auter and Donald M. Davis, 'When Characters Speak Directly to Viewers: Breaking the Fourth Wall in Television', Journalism Quarterly,Vol. 68, No. 1/2, Spring/Summer 1991
- Lior Barshack, 'Intimate Enunciations: Carnival and Apocalypse in Fellini', Cardozo Law Review, 31.4, 2010
- Marco Bohr, 'Are-Bure-Boke: Distortions in Late 1960s Japanese Cinema and Photography', Dandelion Journal, 2.2, 2011
- Tom Brown, 'Preface', Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012)
- Tom Brown, 'A Cinema of Repulsions: Funny Games 1997/2007', Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012
- Tom Brown 'Private Conversations in public: Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)', Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012
- Tom Brown, 'Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema', Screens and Stages, May 31, 2012
- William Brown, 'The Pre-Narrative Monstrosity of Images: how images demand narrative', Image [and] Narrative, 12.4, 2011
- Saviour Catania, '“The Beached Verge”: On Filming the Unfilmable in Grigori Kozintsev’s Hamlet', EnterText, 1.2, 2001
- Kathy Cleland, Image Avatars: self-other encounters in a mediated world, PhD thesis, University of Technology, Sydney, 2008
- Theresa Ann Cronin, ' Horrific Subjects: The Morality of Looking in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible', in Disciplining the Spectator: Subjectivity, the Body and Contemporary Spectatorship, PhD thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2010
- Silvia Díaz, 'The Attractions of the "Cinema Attractions" to Female Spectatorship', MA Thesis, Lehigh University, 2004
- Wheeler Winston Dixon, 'It Looks at You: the Returned Gaze of Cinema/Video Reception', in It Looks at You: The Returned Gaze of Cinema (New York: State University of New York, 1995)
- Thomas Elsaesser, "Performative Self-Contradictions Michael Haneke's Mind Games," in Roy Grundmann (ed), A Companion to Michael Haneke (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
- Eric S. Faden, 'The Cyberfilm: Hollywood and Computer Technology,', Strategies, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2001
- Alex Gerbaz, 'Direct Address, Ethical Imagination, and Errol Morris’s Interrotron', Film-Philosophy, 12.2, September 2008
- George Godwin, 'Reclaiming the subject-A feminist reading of I've Heard The Mermaids Singing', Cinema Canada, May 1988
- Elizabeth Harnett, 'Breaking the Fourth Wall: Adapting William Shakespeare’s Othello to the Screen', Critical Commons (date unknown)
- Claire Henry, 'Maternal Revenge and Redemption in Postfeminist Rape-Revenge Cinema', in Sheila C. Bibb and Daniel Escandell Montiel (eds), Best Served Cold: Studies on Revenge Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010
- Jan Jagodzinski, 'Michael Haneke: The Spectatorship of Self-refleXivity; Between Lacan and Deleuze', 'The Scope of Interdisciplinarity' Conference, Center for Integrated Studies, November 2008
- Miklós Kiss, 'Narrative Metalepsis as Diegetic Concept in Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010)', Acta Univ. Sapientiae Film and Media Studies, 5, 2012
- Tarja Laine, '"What are you looking at and why?" Michael Haneke's Funny Games (1997) with his audience', Kinoeye, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Mar 2004
- Kendra Preston Leonard, 'Silencing Ophelia: Male Aurality as a Controlling Element in Olivier's Hamlet', Scope, 14, June 2009
- Kristi McKim, '“A state of loving detachment”: Sally Potter’s Impassioned and Intellectual Cinema', Senses of Cinema, 2006
- Zinaid Meeran, 'Inch'Allah Dimanche vs. Lila dit Ça: Transnational Feminism Counters the Streamlining of Accented Cinema', Mediascape, 1.1, 2007
- Dominique Nasta, 'Rhetorical Figures and Romanian Film Acting: From Pintilie To Mungiu', Close Up: Film and Media Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2013
- Abiodun Olayiwola, 'Beyond Hollywood Formulas: Evolvıng Indigenous Yoruba Film Aesthetic', Cross-Cultural Communication, Vol.7, No.2, 2011
- Karen Pearlman, 'If a dancing figure falls in the forest and nobody sees her... ', Participations, 7.2, November 2010
- Roberta Pearson, '3—The Histrionic and Verisimilar Codes in the Biograph Films. The Histrionic Code', Eloquent Gestures: The Transformation of Performance Style in the Griffith Biograph Films (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992)
- Ágnes Pethő, 'Intermediality as Metalepsis in the “Cinécriture” of Agnès Varda', Acta Univ. Sapientiae Film and Media Studies, 3, 2010
- Retinal Echoes, 'Doctor Destouches, Leós Carax, and the "Emotive Account"', MUBI Notebook, April 15, 2013
- Cecilia Sayad, 'The Auteur as Fool: Bakhtin, Barthes, and the Screen Performances of Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard', Journal of Film and Video, 63.4, Winter 2011
- Leigh Singer and Matt Zoller Seitz, 'VIDEO ESSAY: Breaking the Fourth Wall', PressPlay, March 7, 2013
- Keyan Tomaselli and Maureen Eke, 'Perspectives on Orality in African Cinema', Oral Tradition, 10/1 (1995): 111-128
- Ravi Vasudevan, 'The political culture of address in a "transitional" cinema: Indian popular cinema', Sarai.net, 2006
- Ravi Vasudevan, 'Devotional Transformation: Miracles, Mechanical Artifice, and Spectatorship in Indian Cinema', Postscripts 1.2/1.3 (2005)
- Yingjin Zhang, 'Styles, Subjects, and Special Points of View: A Study of Contemporary Chinese Independent Documentary ', LEWI Working Paper Series, 32, 2004
- Siwei Zhou, 'Gender, Image, and Sound in Letter to Jane', CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania, 2008