Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens: Video Spectatorship from VHS to File Sharing

By Caetlin Benson-Allott | Go to book overview

1 Distributing the Dead
Video Spectatorship in the Movies of George A. Romero

Movies construct the video spectator differently than they do the cinematic spectator; that is the fundamental claim of this chapter, the thesis I set out to prove by examining how one filmmaker altered his presentation of the same subject for different popular distribution platforms. Critics have been quick to affirm that movies look different on video and that filmmakers reimagined many of their formal and narrative conventions during the home video era, but no one has provided the close readings that would identify what these shifts actually look like, how they alter the viewer’s relationship to the motion picture and reimagine the spectator.1 Viewers may intuitively recognize that movies of the home video era address them differently than their cinematic predecessors do, but film theorists have not yet analyzed the nature of that change or how it happened. Therefore, this chapter systematically works through the construction of the spectator in one director’s oeuvre over forty years to demonstrate how new motion picture apparatuses bring forth new spectators.

All spectatorship studies—from the 1970s apparatus theory through the 1980s and 1990s reception surveys and contemporary material culture criticism—rest on the abiding assumptions that movies try to elicit specific affects or responses in a viewer and that they do so by manipulating the apparatus through which they anticipate meeting her. Hence, Jean-Louis Baudry, Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey, and the other 1970s screen theorists all appeal to the basic architecture of the movie theater—the location of the projector, the darkness of the auditorium, the size of the screen—to explain how this space constructs its spectator. When subsequent scholars challenge the 1970s theorists’ “master narratives” and argue that some audiences actively resist ideological indoctrination, they implicitly affirm the idea that motion pictures exploit their form and

-25-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens: Video Spectatorship from VHS to File Sharing
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 297

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.