By Judith Mayne

Cinema and Spectatorship is the 1st ebook to concentration solely at the historical past and function of the spectator in modern movie experiences. whereas Seventies movie thought insisted on a contrast betweeen the cinematic topic and film-goers, Judith Mayne means that a truly genuine friction among "subjects" and "viewers" is in reality imperative to the research of spectatorship.
In the book's first part Mayne examines 3 theoretical versions of spectatorship: the perceptual, the institutional and the historic, whereas the second one part specializes in case reports which crystallize a number of the matters already mentioned, targeting textual research, the `disrupting genre', `star-gazing' and eventually the viewers itself. Case experiences incude where of the spectator within the textual research of person movies reminiscent of The photograph of Dorian Gray; the development of Bette Davis' famous person character; fantasies of race and movie viewing in Field of Dreams and Ghost; and homosexual and lesbian audiences as "critical" audiences. The ebook offers a truly thorough and available evaluation of this advanced, fragmented and infrequently debatable quarter of movie thought.

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Extra resources for Cinema and Spectatorship (Sightlines)

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Analysis of the oedipal structures of desire in classical film may well leave no place for the female spectator, but that may be precisely the point—that classical cinema “interpellates” by denying sexual difference. Whatever the actual gender of the audience, theories of the cinematic institution demonstrate how oedipal desire is naturalized, facilitated, or otherwise normalized. Roland Barthes said, in The Pleasure of the Text, that there is virtually a cause-and-effect relationship between the Oedipus myth and storytelling.

But the theories to which 1970s film theorists were drawn, and the work of Lacan in particular, questioned any such evident stability. As a result, identification understood as a position—and more properly as a series of shifting positions—assumes that cinematic identification is as fragile and unstable as identity itself. Indeed, the possibilities opened up by this reconsideration of identification are enormous, challenging as they do both excessively literal assumptions about the pleasures taken in the cinema as well as any notion of identification as a simple one-way process from one individual to his or her like.

Indeed, spectatorship entails much more than individual films or even the individual and collective viewing experiences of audiences. Spectatorship involves the acts of looking and hearing inasmuch as the patterns of everyday life are dramatized, foregrounded, displaced, or otherwise inflected by the cinema. 31 THEORIES OF SPECTATORSHIP Figures drawn from the cinema have been appropriated and utilized across a variety of forms, from advertising to literature, from music to magazines, from everyday conversation to dreams; these are all testimonies to the power of spectatorship.

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