Screen Tastes: Soap Opera to Satellite Dishes

Screen Tastes: Soap Opera to Satellite Dishes

Screen Tastes: Soap Opera to Satellite Dishes

Screen Tastes: Soap Opera to Satellite Dishes

Synopsis

Charlotte Brundson's key writings on film and television are bought together with new introductions which contextualise and update the arguments. The focus is on the tastes and pleasures of the female consumer as she is produced by popular film and television.

Excerpt

This is a book about television and film, but it is also a book about the criticism and study of these media. While I do analyse and discuss particular television programmes and films in detail, my repeated interest, in a period in which academic attention to the audiovisual has become more legitimate, is in how these texts and media are discussed. I am interested in who can speak about culture, within which constraints, drawing upon which repertoires. What produces particular texts as worthy of study, and why are others illegitimate? These questions are nearer the surface in the study of film and television than in some more established disciplines because the study of film and television is less legitimate, and has a much shorter academic existence. Knowledge about cinema and television is curated outside as well as inside the academy. People keep collections of favourite films or television series-but they also accumulate collections of facts and the lore of fans. As a young film teacher in the 1970s, I soon had to learn that many members of my evening class knew more than I would ever know about, for example, particular directors or the history of censorship in Britain. All I had to offer was greater familiarity with the conceptual frameworks within which the academic study of film was being legitimated. So in the class we would enact the contestation of how film should be known about and the terms in which it should be talked about. I found this sense of the constitution of the field of study enormously exciting-I liked the way in which we seemed to be making something new. This moment didn't last that long with film studies, and I think one could argue that the impenetrability of some film studies language is partly a shrouding of the youth and volatility of the field. But that same sense of the edge of the academic-the negotiation of what it is proper to address, and in what terms-accompanied the development of television studies, cultural studies and feminist intellectual work.

These essays were written, in different ways, in negotiation with this edge of the academic. Usually produced for a particular occasion, with little sense of longevity, they trace a continuing concern with issues of taste and audience in particular contexts: the women's movement, cultural studies and the classroom. They have been written over a period of very substantial change

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