The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood

6.15 Vertigo

It is hard to watch this shot without imagining being in Scottie’s position, experiencing the world slip away. But notice that this example actually problematizes the familiar idea that the camera is the eye of the spectator. The physical camera that took the shot was moving in, toward the stairway. We see something very different onscreen: a stable frame around an elastic space. No matter how immersive the shot may be, it remains a shot: a rectangle filled with a dynamic composition.

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