Macquarie University
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Intimate cinema: the proxemics of viewing space and a case study of contemporary queer screen texts and youth identity development narratives

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posted on 2022-03-28, 20:31 authored by Rebecca Lelli
Cinema has played an integral role in the formation of queer politics, community, and subjects. The spaces in which we engage with narratives on screen constitute our reception and relation to texts. Whilst the public movie theatre and queer film festivals have been of key importance in the past, the emergence of personal digital devices has shifted viewing spaces and complicated our definition of public/private spaces. This thesis utilises embodied approaches, and Edward T Hall’s theory of Proxemics, to examine the importance of spatial context in film cognition. Through a case study of contemporary queer screen texts, I explore the nuances of space in interaction between viewers and the screen text. LGBTQIA+ youth are now engaging with queer screen texts in intimate spaces. Safely cocooned in bed with their screens, these ‘Intimate Cinemas’ can be constructed by the individual user for specific purposes. This thesis attends to some possible consequences of these new spaces on queer youth identity development and wider queer politics. I have found that, as our understanding of public/private space has shifted, so too have the epistemologies of out/in upon which the closet and queer narrative scripts have been based.


Table of Contents

Chapter One. An auto-ethnographic perspective on ‘networked’ youth & viewing habits -- Chapter Two. Introduction to proxemics -- Chapter Three. Proxemics across mediums -- Chapter Four. Intimate cinematography in contemporary youth-oriented queer screen texts -- Chapter Five. Conclusions -- References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 92-99

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Catharine Lumby

Additional Supervisor 1

Michael Quilter

Additional Supervisor 2

Mauricio Marrone


Copyright Rebecca Lelli.2017. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (103 pages) colour illustrations

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