Film geography: A review and prospectus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Scopus citations


With this paper we review past works that have established film geography as a sub-discipline. The paper is organized around the author-text-reader (ATR) model and pays particular attention to its role in defining the area of study and how it is approached theoretically and methodologically. The textual metaphor from which the ATR model is derived is a signifying practice associated with the cultural production of meaning through various forms of representation. Textual analysis is a hermeneutical method that became hegemonic in film studies beginning in the 1970s following Christian Metz’s influential application of semiotics to film, which occurred concomitantly with the establishment of film theory as a serious discipline (c.f. Shiel 2001). The method came to geography later during the “linguistic turn” in the social sciences that did not take full effect until the late 1980s (Lukinbeal and Zimmermann 2008). While the ATR model consists of three modalities, researchers have tended to focus on only one at a time (Dixon et al. 2008). An author-centered approach focuses on the pre-filmic processes of meaning creation. Here, the emphasis is on production, labor, the auteur, the generative process of meaning creation, and the overall economic conditions within the creative industries. A text-centered approach analyzes the construction of meaning within the film’s diegesis and mise-en-scne. Reader-centered approaches investigate film as a spectatorial practice, the audience as market, the situatedness of consumption, the ethnography of film audiences, and film exhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMediated Geographies and Geographies of Media
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789401799690
ISBN (Print)9789401799683
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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