chapter  10
14 Pages

Labours of love: Home movies, paracinema, and the modern work of cinema spectatorship

WithMinette Hillyer

Movies are a weekend occupation. Even today, when what Siegfried Kracauer described

as the ‘institution’ of Sundays is no longer (1995, 331), we go to the movies after work, in

place of work, or very occasionally – for those of us engaged in the labour of analysis or

evaluation – in the practice of a kind of work largely available to a leisured class, and

virtually unrecognizable to our grandparents. That is, despite disruptions to the temporal

organization of week and weekend, movies still connote leisure, and as such ‘must

produce a break . . . not only as far as work is concerned, but for day-to-day family life’

(Lefebvre 2008, 33). Spectatorship, regardless of when it takes place, is theorized in this

schema as distraction: a compensation for the difficulties of everyday life, and a necessary

alternative to work.