Breaking the fourth wall

Continuing the theme from yesterday…

Movies rarely break the fourth wall. When they do, it usually doesn’t go well.

But amusement park rides do so regularly, as standard practice. And audiences seem to love it.

There seems to be something inherent in the nature of immersive entertainment that the the audience should be acknowledged, and in non-immersive entertainment that the audience generally should not be acknowledged.

I wonder whether this is really an inherent property, or is merely a consequence of the way these genres have historically developed. Does greater physical immersion necessarily correlate to greater acknowledgment of the audience?

2 thoughts on “Breaking the fourth wall”

  1. I am instantly thinking of different theatre shows. Most do not (explicitly) break the fourth wall, but pantomimes absolutely do. I wouldn’t have thought of pantomimes as being more immersive. They are far more absurd and the audience is expected to take part. Perhaps it is more about the audience participation.

    In a movie the audience is supposed to be quite. Theme park rides and pantos, the audience is expected to be loud.

  2. Thinking about it, I should be clear for an American/International audience: By pantomimes, I was talking about the theatre shows put on for children around Christmas time in the UK.

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