The Live Cinema Paradox: Continuity and Innovation in Live Film Broadcast, Exhibition and Production
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While a great deal of very valuable and influential scholarship has examined the disruptions caused by digital film distribution (the pre-recorded non-live formats of on-demand, streaming services for instance), this chapter focuses instead on the phenomena of live and experiential film broadcast, exhibition and production, and their growing prominence in the global film exhibition economy. Since the mid-2000s there have been significant shifts in the production, broadcast and exhibition of cinema, wherein the emergence of live experiences and practices which simultaneously seek to fully exploit the capabilities of emergent broadcast and production technologies, whilst working in potential opposition to those same technologies to evolve and offer experiential, non-mediatised, community-based and authentic engagements with film, can be seen. This chapter describes these forms and practices as live cinema, a potentially oxymoronic formulation due the historic specificity of definitions of cinema in relation to the mediatised and representational technologies upon which it is founded. Its conceptualisation of live cinema forms and practices spans three interrelated trajectories: live cinema broadcast, live cinema exhibition and live cinema production. Each of these has distinctive formal qualities, aesthetics and economies. This chapter takes each of these forms in turn as a gateway towards new understandings of contemporary modes of film circulation and consumption.
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