What does spectacle mean in regards to film/film theory?


I’m taking a introductory film class and every textbook definition of “spectacle” confuses me. Would love a very simple meaning of what people are talking about with spectacle influencing film.


Spectacle is when a movie presents impressive visuals and attention grabbing set pieces without actually having much bearing on the actual plot. It’s used to pad run time, keep audiences engaged, and be memorable.

An example would be the end battle in Endgame. Lots of fighting going on in the background, but the vast majority is completely inconsequential to the overall plot.

Without knowing more about the specifics of your film class it may be referring to Guy Debord’s spectacle.