Since the mid-eighties, more audiences have been watching Hollywood movies at home than at movie theaters, yet little is known about just how viewers experience film outside of the multiplex. This is the first full-length study of how contemporary entertainment technologies and media—from cable television and VHS to DVD and the Internet—shape our encounters with the movies and affect the aesthetic, cultural, and ideological definitions of cinema. Barbara Klinger explores topics such as home theater, film collecting, classic Hollywood movie reruns, repeat viewings, and Internet film parodies, providing a multifaceted view of the presentation and reception of films in U.S. households. Balancing industry history with theoretical and cultural analysis, she finds that today cinema's powerful social presence cannot be fully grasped without considering its prolific recycling in post-theatrical venues—especially the home.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: What Is Cinema Today?
1. The New Media Aristocrats: Home Theater and the Film Experience
2. The Contemporary Cinephile: Film Collecting After the VCR
3. Remembrance of Films Past: Cable Television and Classic Hollywood Cinema
4. Once Is Not Enough: The Functions and Pleasures of Repeat Viewings
5. To Infinity and Beyond: The Web Short, Parody, and Remediation
Conclusion: Of Fortresses and Film Cultures
Barbara Klinger, Associate Professor of Communication and Culture and Director of Film and Media at Indiana University, is author of Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture, and the Films of Douglas Sirk (1994).
"Barbara Klinger provides a detailed and insightful glimpse into the major place we watch movies today: the home! Connecting discourses, technologies, and consumer behavior, she writes a superb examination of the places, means, and drive for personal control of our visual and aural pleasures, changing our gaze from the multiplex screen to our own living spaces. A crucial contribution to contemporary studies in film, television, and new media! "—Janet Staiger, author of Media Reception Studies