Beyond the second screen

Enantiodromia and the running-together of connected viewing

Authored by: Greg Singh

The Routledge International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138666962
eBook ISBN: 9781315619163
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315619163-29

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Abstract

In his influential 1948 essay ‘Le Camera Stylo’, Alexandre Astruc writes that:

Up to now the cinema has been nothing more than a show.… The day is not far off when everyone will possess a projector, will go to the local bookstore and hire films written on any subject, of any form…. From that moment on, it will no longer be possible to speak of the cinema. There will be several cinemas.

(1968, p. 19, emphasis in original) Although writing from the technological perspective of the 1940s, here Astruc is remarkably prescient: for not only is he speculating the extension of film distribution and viewing beyond cinema theatres (and into homes and libraries), he is also commenting on new developments in portability, as well as the evolution of film culture itself and, crucially, the possibilities in what people would do to actively seek out infotainment experiences, given the access to technology and the opportunities afforded. The predictions discernible in Astruc’s statement range from video hire (from both municipal and commercial sources) and interaction between technology (Web-based infrastructure) and distribution networks and apparatus (historical examples include Blockbuster and lovefilm, superseded by Netflix and other popular streaming sites and content providers; but also the continuation of municipal systems such as public library loans in the UK). Therefore, one may say that in terms of delivery, film narrative and the kinds of storytelling to which so-called Classical film narrative lends itself, has always relied upon multiplicity of access, novel innovation, and technological development. In Astruc, there is also a useful theoretical precedence which this chapter seeks to use: to realise a theory of ‘several cinemas’ in the context of convergent, multiplatform viewing cultures, and through the post-cinematic concept of ‘connected viewing’.

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