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The appeal of the "broken"

By Mark Cousins   November 2001

The phrase “want-see” started being used in Hollywood in the early 1980s. Other industries closely guard their trade secrets but the US movie studios discovered in the 1970s, with films like Jaws, The Exorcist and Star Wars, that they could create force fields of anticipation around their movies and, in their plain spoken way, they named those force fields “want-see.” There, in the breakfast meeting jargon, is the deep connection between wanting and seeing.

Sigmund Freud, Hollywood’s unacknowledged patron saint, had the more elaborate word “scopophilia,” and in his day what people wanted to see was somewhat different. But, though…

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