Secret Cinema and the Spatialisation of the Filmic Experience

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In view of changes to film viewing practices today with small(er) screens, solitary viewings and cross platform storytelling, this article will consider the phenomenon of Secret Cinema, an event production company that turns films into ‘live’ events and invites its audience to immerse themselves in the film world at ‘secret’ locations across the city of London. The focus of the paper is a series of visits to a Secret Cinema event in the suburb of West Croydon in 2013 in which a vacant 13 storey office block was transformed into the dystopian vision of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985). In the light of this experience, the article will reflect on Secret Cinema’s approach to world making through the design of its sounds cape, manipulation of film props and in-event film screenings. This paper will then consider how theories of play by Roger Caillois, reading books by Roland Barthes, and new digital games by Espen Aarseth may throw light on the consequences of this spatialisation of the film experience for the viewer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2015
EventEuropean Cinema Research Forum Annual Conference - National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 7 Jul 20158 Jul 2015


ConferenceEuropean Cinema Research Forum Annual Conference


  • world building; transmedia; audience; ergodic; tmesis


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