When dealing with this concept one major question comes to mind. Why do you need to control the spectator? The answer to this question is not straight forward, But through investigation of the cinema structure itself im sure an answer can be found,. Since the evolution of early cinema, pre 1930’s, various techniques were used to try control the film spectator. Mise en scène, which refers to everything in the shot, even music and lighting effects, was used to draw the spectator. Also editing was used. This allowed the director to portrait different viewpoints to the spectator. This, in my opinion was a very successful technique as it helped the spectator to engage with the film on different levels, including emotionally. The cinema itself was also used as a technique to grab the attention of the film spectator. The utilisation of group dynamics in the cinema allowed film to easily control the spectators emotions. The dark room, which was used to enhance picture quality, also acted as atmospheric creation tool. The spectator may feel alone in the dark of the cinema but in reality the spectator was in tune with the collective emotion of the room. Also with the room in darkness and the only source of light being the screen, it also proved as a method to catch the spectators attention.

To conclude, I feel that the control of the film spectator is a very valuable asset. The film spectator is vulnerable to the manipulating factors of the film text and the atmosphere created in the cinema. This control can be used to implant ideas of social structure or even notions of a consumer driven society. What ever the case may be, those in control of the film spectator were in command of an easily controllable pocket of society.

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3 thoughts on “The Film Spectator

  1. I agree with what you’re saying , especially about the methods of using Mise en scène to captivate the audience. They’re still in control, at least with the mainstream media. Think about horror- it tells us what we’re supposed to be afraid of aurally, and visually….I could ramble on about this for hours, guess that’s what happens when you’re a film major lol

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