Seeing Oneself Speak: Speech and Thought in First-Person Cinema

JOMEC Journal 13:104-121 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Cinema struggles with the representation of inner-speech and thought in a way that is less of a problem for literature. Film also destabilises the notion of the narrator, be they omniscient, unreliable or first-person. In this article I address the peculiar and highly unsuccessful cinematic innovation which we can call the ‘first-person camera’ or ‘first-person’ film. These are films in which the camera represents not just the point-of-view of a character but is meant to be understood as that character. Very few such films have been made, and I will concentrate on the way in which speech and thought are presented in Lady in the Lake (Robert Montgomery, 1947) and Dark Passage (Delmer Daves, 1947). I use Jacques Derrida’s critique of the idea of ‘hearing oneself speak’ and phenomenology’s dream of direct experience to explore the generally understood failure of such films and conclude by considering the implications of such a technique for a homunculus theory of mind.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,377

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

First Person Thought.François Recanati - 2014 - In Julien Dutant, Davide Fassion & Anne Meylan (eds.), Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel. pp. 506-511.
On Having the Same First Person Thought.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (4):566-587.
Thinking about the body as subject.Daniel Morgan - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):435-457.
IV—Sharing Thoughts About Oneself.Guy Longworth - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (1pt1):57-81.
Comments on Authority and Estrangement.Jane Heal - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):440-447.
Moran’s Authority and Estrangement. [REVIEW]Jane Heal - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):427–432.
Selbstwissen: Die Grundidee.Richard Moran - 2015 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 63 (4).
Inner Speech as the Internalization of Outer Speech.Christopher Gauker - 2018 - In Peter Langland-Hassan & Agustin Vicente (eds.), Inner Speech: New Voices. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 53-77.
Second person thought.Jane Heal - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (3):317-331.
Inner Speech.Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science.


Added to PP

14 (#812,131)

6 months
4 (#244,383)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Sorfa
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references