The Audience Effect: On the Collective Cinema Experience.

Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018 (paperback version: 2019).

Link to the publisher’s website.

The Audience Effect is an immensely important contribution to the phenomenology of cinema. Focused on the much-neglected collectivity of the theatrical film experience, it also touches on other modes of collective viewing, and its rigorous descriptions of the structures, effects, and affects entailed in collective viewing are extraordinarily enlivened by many examples and extremely accessible prose.

– Professor Vivian Sobchack, UCLA

This book moves its attention from the images on the screen to the audience gathered in the film theatre and eventually tells ‘their’ stories. Hanich makes a spectacular shift, and he unfolds a reality that film studies has partly forgotten, as well as cinema’s nature as a ‘democratic’ art. A rigorous and fascinating book that will revamp audience studies.

– Professor Francesco Casetti, Yale

The Audience Effect offers an important perspective on how the collective nature of cinema viewing affects an individual’s response both to a film and to those around them. Julian Hanich provides a detailed and considered argument for the role that audiences themselves play in the construction of cinemagoing as a cultural and social practice. The book provides a framework which has the potential to provide new insights in audience studies, as well as in film studies more generally.

– James Jones, Screen

The definition and function of “the audience” in the whole cinematic equation has been taken for granted and, so, left at an unhelpful level of generality even as it morphs into something utterly different. Hanich seeks to remedy this state of affairs and in so doing flexes some syncretistic muscles, surveying a breathtaking range of sources from a vast span of time periods, paradigms, and disciplines. […] Hanich gives us good reasons to hope the uniqueness and power of the audience experience will enable it to survive in some form or another. But what, exactly, is this uniqueness and power? It’s the sort of thing we think we understand, but do not pay careful enough attention to. Fortunately, Hanich does.

– Joseph G. Kickasola, Projections

For those looking to learn more about the complex responses of audiences of cinematic art this is the book you should consult

– Bob Lane, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Vancouver Island University, Metapsychology

Hanich has written The Audience Effect as an exercise in phenomenology, or, the philosophical analysis of forms of perception and engagement, their workings and implications. Watching films is seen not just as a visual, or even aural, process, but one engaging all aspects of a person, and (just about) all parts of our bodies. […] There’s little doubt that to those drawn to this approach, Hanich’s book will be a significant addition.

– Martin Barker, Participations

… An impressive essay…

– Thomas Messias, Slate

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