In the 1946 film noir Lady in the Lake, the hero, Philip Marlowe, is represented by the camera's eye, and by a voice-over narration. We hear his thoughts and see his vision of others: the heroine's face coming into close-up for a kiss, the villain's scowl, his own feet upended as he falls to the ground from a Mickey Finn, his unshaven face briefly in a mirror after he regains consciousness.
The film graphically presents a common philosophical and psychological view of our understanding of ourselves and other people. On this view, we have direct access to our own internal mental states, our emotions, beliefs, desires, sensations, and so on, much like Philip Marlowe's internal monologue in the movie. However, we have only indirect and partial access to our appearance and behavior; our bodies, after all, are only peripherally part of our field of vision. Like Marlowe we can see only small parts of our selves. Conversely, we seem to have direct access to the physical appearance and behavior of others; but we have no access to their internal states, either their “feel” for their own bodies or their internal mental states. Although Marlowe can see the heroine's face and hear her words, he has no way of knowing whether her professed affection for him is genuine, or whether her internal monologue is like his (an important plot device in 1940s movies).
Yet the odd thing is that Lady in the Lake is so phenomenologically unreal.