Attractions and distractions: Mums, babies and 'early' cinemagoing



Boyle K (2009) Attractions and distractions: Mums, babies and 'early' cinemagoing. Participations, 6 (2).

This article reports on a small-scale audience study of women attending dedicated parent-and-baby screenings at one Glasgow cinema as a means of engaging with questions about exhibition context and cinema audiences that have been somewhat marginalised in contemporary accounts of film viewing. It uses Tom Gunning's account of early cinema's ‘attractions' as a way of framing the various pleasures on offer for women in these screenings, including the ways in which they think about their babies' engagements with the experience. The interviews reveal the extent to which, whilst the film choice is by no means incidental to the ‘Watch With Baby' experience, the women's accounts of the films are embedded in a very embodied account of cinemagoing in which the organisation of the space and the relationship of bodies within it is central. This does not - as canonical film theory suggests - depend upon the negation of the apparatus, but rather displays a fascination with its possibilities as they might be perceived by the infant audience.

‘cinema of attractions’; cinemagoing; mothers; babies; intimacy

Participations: Volume 6, Issue 2

Publication date30/11/2009
Publication date online2009
Publisher URL…pecial/boyle.htm