Quotation by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis

Films are seen in large, silent, darkened theaters, where intense light beams are projected from behind toward luminous surfaces in front. There is an enforced and anonymous collectivity of the audience because, for any screening, all viewers are physically present at the same time in the relatively enclosed space of the theater. In contrast to this cocoon-like, enveloping situation is the fragmentary, dispersed, and varied nature of television reception. The darkness is dissolved, the anonymity removed.... While the aura of cinema spectatorship produces hypnotic fascination, the atmosphere of television enables just the opposite—because the lights are more likely to be on, one can get up and return, do several things at once, watch casually, talk to other people, or even decide to turn the television off.
Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, U.S. educator, critic. "Psychoanalysis, Film, and Television," Channels of Discourse: Television and Contemporary Criticism, ed. Robert C. Allen, University of North Carolina Press (1987).
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