• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Written by a team of veteran scholars and emerging talents, The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies maps the international traditions of the field, drawing out regional differences in the way that intellectual reflection on cinema and film has been transformed into a field of systematic inquiry. It reflects on the field's conceptual infrastructure, the dominant paradigms and debates, and evaluates their continuing salience. Finally, it looks optimistically to the future of film, the institution of cinema, and the discipline of Film Studies at a time when the very existence of film is being called into question by new technological, industrial, and aesthetic developments.

Film Audiences
Film audiences
JosteinGripsrud and ErlendLavik

When the centenary of cinema was celebrated in 1995, ‘cinema’ was defined as the screening of moving images for a paying audience. The presence of an audience, in other words, is an essential part of the very definition of the medium. There are very different kinds of film scholarship concerned with film audiences or relations between film and its audiences. In quantitative terms, scholarly research and writing about film audiences or some dimension of film-audience relations clearly outnumber (and outweigh!) publications about other aspects of the film medium, such as film production or the aesthetics of film.

Film's early status as a paradigmatic mass medium is a major part of the explanation for this. Its colossal popularity with working-class people, women ...

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