Video Essay: Mark Rappaport on The Empty Screen

A new video essay from Mark Rappaport about movies in movies, and how the screen watches us just as we watch it.

The screen is a neutral element in the film-going experience. Or is it? It projects dreams but is also the receptacle of our dreams. It’s the vehicle for delivering the image to an audience — but does it also watch the audience at the same time? Is it a complicitous membrane which audience members can penetrate and which interacts with the spectators, despite its seeming passivity? Maybe — to all of the above …

Mark Rappaport’s film include From the Journals of Jean Seberg and Rock Hudson’s Home Movies. Four collections of his essays and fictions — all about film — The Moviegoer Who Knew Too Much, (F)au(x)tobiographies, and The Secret Life Of Moving Shadows — Pt 1 and Pt 2 are available as e-books. Many of his films are available for streaming on