Film and audience

Audience is a really interesting on for me, as an audio student and engineer, as I watch film similarly to how film students may listen to music. There’s an appreciation but it’s also difficult to understand entirely what is happening. When I listen to music – I hear the reverbs and instruments and rooms and automation mixing tricks. I’m completely immersed, as I am when I watch films, but in a different way. It’s because of this that I prefer to watch films in a typical cinema setting rather than an exhibition space.

I like to be immersed in whatever I’m doing, and I think exhibition spaces can take away from this. At least in my experience, films played in art galleries as part of exhibitions can be very compelling and engaging, but the environment lends itself to chatter, socialising and noise. This isn’t something I generally associate with being immersed in a piece of work – musical or otherwise. This can of course depend on the the type of film being shown – a romantic comedy would never work in an exhibition space because it contains (usually) linear narrative, and characters that develop. Something more avant garde or structural might be better intended to watched quickly, socialised in front of in a more exhibition type setting.

It’s important to thin about these different types of film and setting in relation to the time and place they’re consumed. In more typical narrative films, I engage with the emotions of the characters and find myself relating to them in one way or another. Similarly, more artistic/exhibiton style films often force the audience to create their own meaning, and I find myself relating to them in a more personal way – usually based around whatever I’m dealing with at the time. Both of these can make me feel happy, or sad, and that’s art is about – feeling something.

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