The film experience  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The film experience refers to how humans experience the watching of films, and how for example, it compares to other modes of fiction consumption, such as the reading experience. For the largest part of the history of film, let's say from the 1890s to 1985, the film experience was a communal one.

"We experience the cinema in a state of double consciousness, an astonishing phenomenon where the illusion of reality is inseparable from the awareness that it is really an illusion." --Edgar Morin
"Subversion in cinema starts when the theatre darkens and the screen lights up. For the cinema is a place of magic where psychological and environmental factors combine to create an openness to wonder and suggestion, and unlocking of the unconscious. It is a shrine at which modern rituals rooted in atavistic memories and subconscious desires are acted out in darkness and seclusion from the outer world" -- Amos Vogel via Film as a Subversive Art (1974).

From movie theaters to home video

Since the 1980s, the film experience has gone from movie theatre-centric to home video-centric.


For Kuleshov (1899 - 1970), the essence of the cinema was editing, the juxtaposition of one shot with another. To illustrate this principle, he created what has come to be known as the Kuleshov Experiment. In this now-famous editing exercise, shots of an actor were intercut with various meaningful images (a casket, a bowl of soup, and so on) in order to show how editing changes viewers' interpretations of images.

See also

film, experience, unfilmability, narratology

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The film experience" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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