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  • 2017Nicholsphd

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Distracted spectatorship, the cinematic experience and franchise films

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2017
Number of pages235
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis draws on a reflexive account of embodied female spectatorship in order to re-frame dominant accounts of the cinematic experience. In particular the project shows how distraction, defined as a series of puncta which expand the spectator’s cinematic experience, is integral to embodied experience of film spectatorship and fandom. Drawing on theoretical grounding from film theory, classical cultural studies and fan studies, the study sheds light on how inhabiting the position of distracted spectator involves maintaining several identities simultaneously. The thesis used an in-depth contemporary case study, the Hollywood blockbuster franchise The Hunger Games (Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence, 2012-2015), to examine how these identities are made visible through distracted spectatorship and its impact on the cinematic experience. By making specific reference to the individual spectator’s cinematic experience the thesis re-evaluates how the spectator is presented within theories of fandom and spectatorship. The resultant reading makes visible the ways in which female fans already see. In turn this argument complicates current fandom and spectatorship theory as it calls into question the certain positions that these theories hold. This thesis challenges the more commonly theorised arguments by stating that the inhabiting of multiple identities creates a level of uncertainty within film analysis.