The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Schnabel, 2007)


The blink is the cut. A truly subjective experience is rendered by formal experimentation. The lens of the camera is treated as the human eye. Its capacities are limited and faulted as the human eye. The kino-eye, or camera-eye, is dismounted in efforts to realize a visual approximation of the subject’s attentions. His eye movements, blinks, and obscurities become captured and conveyed by cinematic means. There is, in this way, no longer a medium between the viewer and the image. The screen readily becomes an instance of vision, an instance of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s vision to be specific.

This pure and visceral subjectivity is at times undermined. The camera-eye returns and separates the film by narrative measures. The outside world is fragmented, loud, and faulty. Continuity mishaps, surreal drama, and objectification do not punctuate moments of spirited quietness, they detract from its humble presence. The film should be 45 minutes.

87 – Excellent

4 Stars


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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