Watching Notorious the other night, with commentary on, got me thinking about Deleuze’s readings of Hitchcock. The commentary (and i jumped out early, so I apologize if I didnt stay for the whole lesson) claimed that in Notorious, the use two-shot/reverse shot almost makes them a theme of the film. The point being that the relationship between Bergman and Grant releases tension in the two shot, while condensing it in the reverse shot. So the pov and camera work produce the feeling we’re supposed to get about their relationship to each other.

In Deleuze’s cinema 1, Deleuze argues that Hitchcock completes cinema’s prewar trajectory by including the audience as a third element and third party in relation to the film. The audience is given to seeing things revealed by the camera. The audience thus knows what the actors themselves will discover only later. The audience, through the camera, is an eye–a participating eye (“I”).

Is it possible then, to use a bit of network relations theory for a minute, that in the two shot, we (audience) are third to a couple, whereas in the reverse shot, we are the other (through the pov of the camera). This would raise the tension of the reverse shot particulary: placed in the pov of the other actor, the reverse shot implicates us in an actor’s acts and feelings. The calm of the two shot, on the other hand, obtains from the fact that one is the excluded third party, witness to the coupling routines of the couple in front of us, but not placed in direct relation to either. Only in film then, do you have Gravetter’s forbidden triad!

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