Faraway, So Close: A Phenomenology of Film Spectatorship Open Access

Lemmon, Frank C. (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/1g05fb816?locale=en
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Abstract

"Faraway, So Close: A Phenomenology of Film Spectatorship" attempts to rethink the role of the film spectator phenomenologically. By first articulating the difference between the natural attitude and the phenomenological attitude, this work establishes two distinct ways to understand the spectatorial disposition. The phenomenologically disposed critical spectator, embodied by the film critic or analyst, is removed from the purely spectatorial position and focuses her attention on describing the film object. On the other hand, the spectator in the natural attitude - the participatory spectator - remains fixed to the spectating position. For this reason, the following takes up the participatory spectator, hoping to understand the act of spectating, not the object (the film) corresponding to that act. This endeavor first takes the form of a Sartrean analysis of spectatorship. With Sartre we find a treatment of spectatorship fundamentally concerned with distance - the film spectator, he argues, is in a proximate relation to the cinema, resulting in an interaction that allows for the spectator to gain self-knowledge. In this way, the spectator comes to be the object of her own intending. Finally, the non-visual perceptions are taken up, similarly establishing a proximate relation between the spectator and the spectacle, and rearticulating the Sartrean notion of self-knowledge.

Table of Contents

I. INTRODUCTION...1
II. IN A MOVIE SEAT FAR, FAR AWAY…:

THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ATTITUDE & CRITICAL SPECTATORSHIP...5

III. IN THE MESH:

THE NATURAL ATTITUDE & PARTICIPATORY SPECTATORSHIP...9

IV. LOOKING CLOSER, SEEING THE SELF:

A SARTREAN THEORY OF FILM SPECTATORSHIP...12

A. ESSAYS AND SPEECHES...13
B. BEING AND NOTHINGNESS...22

FIGURE 1: Voyeur/Keyhole/Spectacle...29
FIGURE 2: Voyeur/Keyhole/Spectacle/Other...31
FIGURE 3: Voyeur/Keyhole/Spectacle-Other...32
FIGURE 4: Spectator/Screen/Projector...34

V. MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE:

MERLEAU-PONTY, LINDA WILLIAMS & VIVIAN SOBCHACK...36

A. EYES WIDE SHUT...37
B. SOUNDBRIDGE...42
C. THE TOUCHY SUBJECT...46

VI. CONCLUSION...54
WORKS CITED AND CONSULTED...56

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