|Yellow Sky: Not in the sights, exactly|
The peril of such a trick is that it threatens to expose the camera as the autonomous presenter of the film. While not every shot in a feature film is a point-of-view shot (most are not), when a shot is first disguised as a point-of-view shot, then revealed to be otherwise, there is a noticeable disruption, a perceptual double-take, that hints at the film's construction. This of course works to varying degrees, depending upon the shot and the audience, and by pointing this out I am not suggesting that all shots should conceal the camera's presence as much as possible or that stylized camera work should never be used (if it never were, there would be no Expressionism or film noir, to say the least). Depending upon the type of shot and its context, though, the artifice of such shots can become more noticeable than for others, for better or worse.
|Great Expectations: Pip comes to|
|First Men in the Moon: Images captured by a nonexistent camera|
Of the three listed here, the rifle barrel shot is probably the most disruptive, due to its obvious gimmickry. I don't know how this shot was achieved, but it screams "special effect." The effect of the simulated "coming to" shot is perhaps a wash if one considers the alternative — it may have been more jarring if Bernard Miles (the actor playing Joe) had looked directly into the lens. (Lean could have presented the awakening with the camera trained on Pip, however, or in a medium two-shot, e.g., to keep the camera more concealed; obviously he and cinematographer Guy Green found value in the simulated POV.) However, like the lunar TV broadcast, this method of suggesting character point-of-view has become common enough that perhaps it is not as noticeable to all viewers.
Shoot the moon...somehow
Scorsese's Enunciative Presence