Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 1: Visual Pleasure and ‘Authenticity’, Engagement and Escape

Claire Monk

in Heritage Film Audiences

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748638246
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651238 | DOI:
Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 1: Visual Pleasure and ‘Authenticity’, Engagement and Escape

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This chapter looks at Heritage Audience Survey respondents' self-worded testimonies to explore what these — and wider survey evidence — revealed about their viewing positions, film tastes, attitudes and expectations in relation to period films (including heritage films), as well as their dispositions and orientations in relation to a variety of critical questions around ‘heritage film’. Respondents were invited to express their views in their own words in response to open questions asking what they most enjoyed, or did not enjoy, about the period films they watched. This analysis also draws upon two multiple-choice elements in the survey questionnaire: a list of twenty-eight pre-suggested ‘pleasures’ (visual pleasures and pleasures of narrative), which respondents might hypothetically find in period films, and a list of seventy-four attitude statements, expressing a range of views, opinions or positions in relation to period films, ‘quality’ literary adaptations, and the suppositions of existing discourses around these. Finally, the chapter discusses the discourse of authenticity as well as pleasures of engagement and disengagement.

Keywords: Heritage Audience Survey; period films; heritage films; film tastes; attitudes; pleasures; literary adaptations; authenticity; engagement; disengagement

Chapter.  11230 words. 

Subjects: Film

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