'Ah! Other Bodies!': Embodied spaces, pleasures and practices at Glasgow Film Festival
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Dickson, L. (2015) 'Ah! Other Bodies!': Embodied spaces, pleasures and practices at Glasgow Film Festival. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 12 (1), pp. 703-724.
Summary Over the past two decades film festivals have become an increasingly important area of scholarly interest, particularly within Film Studies. However, to date, much scholarly attention has focused on the industry, economic and/or political roles of film festivals with surprising little attention given to the significance and meaningfulness of these events to the general public who attend them in droves. Focusing on Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) - an event that defines itself as an 'audience film festival' - this article draws on empirical audience research to examine experiences and pleasures of film festival going, and the extent to which these may, or may not, differ from year-round cinema going. While acknowledging that the raison d'tre for film festivals is to screen films, it argues that festival audiences articulate their experiences primarily in spatial and corporeal terms, as opposed to textual terms (via specific films). Drawing on audience testimonies, I examine the ways in which experiential vocabularies suggest a more embodied cinematic practice and alternative mode of spectatorship within the festival context, which contrast with traditional notions of disembodiment and immersion in the cinema space, as well as the resilience of shared cinematic experiences. Key words: Film festival audiences; cinema audiences; spectatorship; cinema space; festival space; embodiment; community; Glasgow Film Festival