Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.720179
Title: Online distribution and the relocation of specialised film
Author: Nikdel, Elliott
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
The recent advent of online film distribution has inspired a utopian vision of change and disruption. In particular, online distribution is believed to foster a new democratic dawn of content distribution, widening the range of choice and opening pathways to a plethora of cultural content. This is deemed to have a particularly enriching impact on the diversity of film culture by dragging specialised and niche films from the fringes of the market to the centre of cultural life. In light of these claims, this thesis considers whether online film distribution is the disruptive force that many promise. In particular, this thesis assesses whether online distribution widens public access to niche content and stimulates greater public engagement with a range of specialised film. As a means of exploring these issues, this thesis proposes an alternative approach to the study of online film distribution. Rather than subscribing to the notion of disruption, this thesis argues for a model of continuity. This is achieved by analysing the current changes in content delivery through a historical lens of study. Firstly, by surveying the important chapters in the history of film distribution and exhibition in Britain, this thesis identifies a number of patterns and practices which have served to limit public access to specialised film. Following this, we see how a number of these practices and trends resurface online albeit in slightly new and interesting ways. This is evident across the broader digital landscape, addressing issues such as the renewed influence of marketing and content visibility; the continued importance of theatrical exhibition; the profound ways in which traditions of specialised distribution and exhibition shape the online platform MUBI; and the reinforcement of social distinction in the context of illegal online filesharing. By examining these and other issues, this thesis challenges the utopian discourse by painting a more complex portrait of the digital landscape, one in which the future is profoundly tethered to the past.
Supervisor: Mazdon, Lucy ; Keenan, Sally Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.720179  DOI: Not available
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