Point Of View On P.O.V.

Just some random thoughts

As you know, it's award season, and I've been watching A LOT of "point of view" (P.O.V.) videos, and I have a few thoughts on the subject, which aren't necessarily shared by anybody else here at AVN.

1) To my way of thinking, to brand a movie "P.O.V." is essentially to enter into a contract with the viewer that what he (or she) is going to see is an anonymous dick getting blown by a cute actress, then fucking her vaginally and possibly anally. The key word there is "anonymous." There should never be a time (except possibly during the early set-up of the scene, but hopefully not even then) when the viewer should be able to identify whose dick that is — because the whole purpose of P.O.V. is to allow the viewer to imagine that he (or she) is the one doing the fucking, and any identification of that fucker detracts from the fantasy. I suppose it's okay for the guy to reach his hand in to squeeze the gal's tits and/or ass, and speaking during the set-up of the scene is okay, but once the sex starts, the guy should remain silent— P.O.V. fantasy, remember?

2) Along with that concept is the idea that the scene is "told" from the "point of view" of the person with the dick. Therefore, if the "point of view" suddenly (or even gradually) shifts from a straight-on look at the cock fucking into the woman by more than a couple of degrees to either side, again, the fantasy is broken. Now, most people (I hope) already understand that the person holding the camera in P.O.V. scenes is generally not the person whose dick is penetrating the woman; that's accepted, because in the few movies I've seen where the guy tries to both hold the camera and fuck the woman, the result is an incredibly jerky and not very watchable coupling. What happens is, the camera operator is either on a ladder above the action, pointing the camera downward, or shooting downward over the shoulder of the male actor. But I've also seen directors/camera operators who have no problem, in a "P.O.V." movie, swinging the camera entirely to the side, or in some other way shifting the point of view away from the fucker, thereby turning the scene into a regular hardcore scene where both man and woman are visible. To my mind, this is not acceptable in a movie calling itself "P.O.V.". It may still be an excellent movie, but it is no longer a "P.O.V." movie.

 3) Another problem with P.O.V., in this age of HD letterboxing, is that some directors/camera operators have taken to giving the viewer "Dutch angles " of the action — which, if the action were happening in reality, would mean that the guy had decided essentially to turn his head sideways while fucking, and I think very few people do that in "real life." Hence, it makes for an awkward scene, or at least an awkward view of that particular piece of the action. Now, I understand why they do it: Letterboxing makes the image much wider than the familiar 4:3 television image, and I can almost see a camera person going, "Ohmigod! If I shoot this scene straight vertically, there'll be all this blank space to the right and left of the action!" Let me say: Have no fear of that. Anybody who's focused on anything but the fucking at that point isn't a real P.O.V. fan— but the more tilting of the woman's body that goes on (usually to a 45-degree angle or more) detracts from the heat of the scene, and will eventually wreck the fantasy.

4) To my personal taste, P.O.V. scenes should involve just one man and one woman (though I suppose one could make a P.O.V. movie with two women and a dildo, but I suspect that would be more difficult). Trying to make it a threeway — one man and two women — detracts from the intimacy that I think is important to establishing the P.O.V. fantasy.


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