The Camera’s Eye


imagesFor a filmmaker, the loss of an eye can be…well, an opportunity. At least that’s how this guy sees it, with his one working eye. As for the other, he’s having it replaced with a prosthetic, in which will be housed a tiny, battery-operated video camera. It’ll be on all the time, and everything it sees will be recorded.

So here we are again on that frontier between really cool and really creepy, with all sorts of journalistic, cinematic, legal and philosophical implications. It evokes everything from Candid Camera to JenniCam to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. And that’s just for starters. The voyeuristically inclined may already know the titillation and challenge to be had from Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rear Window and Psycho, and Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom. But how about the great master Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Camera Buff and A Short Film About Love, each still without equal?

There are others, of course. Meanwhile, with the 1923 stag classic On the Beach alive and well on YouTube, and 1948’s The Apple-Knockers and the Coke still among the top five most popular views at Europa Film Treasures, it should be obvious to anyone with even one working eyeball that the pleasures of the peep have not diminished.

Maybe now’s a good time to get a gander at Sophie Fiennes and Slavoj Žižek’s “The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.”

Jonathan Kiefer lives in San Francisco. His movie reviews are collected at More from this author →