Fear of the dark: regulating the cinematic experience

Cronin, Theresa (2007) Fear of the dark: regulating the cinematic experience. In: Perspectives on Power: an Interdisciplinary QUB/Quest Postgraduate Conference, 02-03 Mar 2007, Belfast, UK.

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Film and video releases in the UK are amongst the most tightly regulated in the Western World, and are subject to greater censorship than any other artistic medium. Given the popularity of film-viewing within the UK, this routine exercise of regulatory power affects almost all of us. However, following in the footsteps of Michel Foucault, I want to move beyond what Annette Kuhn might call a ‘prohibitive model’ of censorship and suggest that this power has been highly productive in its effects. In particular, what I want to demonstrate is that the wider discourses of censorship (which includes scientific studies and popular debate as well as the ‘official’ stance of the BBFC) actively constitute a particular form of contemporary spectatorship. That is, within the discourses of regulation and censorship, particularly those concerning issues of sex and violence on the screen, the body of the spectator becomes a central term around which these discourses revolve. As such, the discourses of censorship not only constitute a theoretical form of ‘corporeal spectatorship’, but actively shape the experience of watching certain kinds of ‘controversial’ films.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
ID Code:5267
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Deposited On:19 Apr 2010 06:41
Last Modified:10 Mar 2015 15:50

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