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A Companion to Film Theory


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Permission has been granted to include this chapter in DigitalCommons@Molloy


The study of spectatorship is an attempt to understand why we choose to sit in the movie theater seat or on the living-room sofa captivated by a screen. What is it that makes the experience so pleasurable, desirable, meaningful - given that viewing subjects position themselves as filmic or televisual spectators voluntarily, in very large numbers, and with frequent repetition.? What are the relationships between individual and filmic process: how are we linked to screen, narrative, character? Whq exactly is the subject seated before the screen, involved in an activity which has been described as everything from passive absorption to active production of the text?

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