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

By Caetlin Benson-Allott | Go to book overview

2 Addressing the “New Flesh”
Videodrome’s Format War

Whereas chapter 1 traced changes in the spectator’s discursive construction as movies migrated from drive-ins and multiplexes to various video platforms, the next two chapters will examine how representations of VCRs and videotapes direct the spectator’s responses to home video apparatuses. Two years before George Romero began racking focus in Day of the Dead, David Cronenberg gave his spectator an even more compelling reason to fear the video revolution: video signals are trying to change her mind. Videodrome (1983) was among the first narrative representations of home video and develops preexisting anxieties about the technology’s capacity for surveillance, psychic violence, and espionage. As early as 1977, movies like Demon Seed began to suggest that viewers beware lest their new consumer electronics consume their lives and identities. Yet few of the movies about video address the machines of exhibition themselves, much less our embodied encounters with them. Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Gore Verbinski’s The Ring (2002) are unique in their willingness to focus on videocassettes as material objects we manipulate—and are manipulated by. These two movies bookend the videotape’s reign as the dominant motion picture platform, and both use cassettes as metaphors for larger media takeovers (specifically the Americanization of Canadian media and the threat of digital piracy). They do not bear the traces of video distribution in the same ways that Romero’s later zombie movies do, but they do advance the artistic tradition of self-reflexive filmmaking by turning the camera on the VCR and the cultural battles it catalyzed. Through unsettling narrative and formal techniques they ask how home video reconstructs the film spectator and in whose interests these changes occur.

In Videodrome spectators become human-video hybrids as they adapt to the physical and psychic demands that the home video interface imposes on

-70-

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.