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date: 09 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines online small-screen cinema (i.e., movies that are viewed almost exclusively on the web, are made with small recording/viewing devices, and are mostly characterized by amateur production and gifting distribution practices) and the challenges it presents for the institution of cinema in China. The author proposes that online small-screen cinema relies on pleasure-seeking but also thought-provoking brief engagements with the moving image, thus departing from the concentration/absorption model developed by narrative cinema and, instead, connecting with the early cinema of attractions. Both cinematic experiences (early cinema and online small-screen cinema), it is argued, develop in fluid, unregulated environments where attraction, distraction, and intervention all play crucial roles in (re)defining cinema and emancipating its spectators.

Keywords: online cinema, small screens, early cinema, cinema relocation, new media, amateur, Internet, emancipated spectator

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