All posts by Denis Condon

HoMER Webinar

Date: Monday 3 August, 5pm (UK time)

Speaker: Lior Tibet (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Title: The Irish Film Society and German cinema, 1936-1945

Please use the following link to register for this event:

https://durhamuniversity.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMvfuirrT4jH9d5TaGTkE93UtKyALPndZCo

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Abstract: This paper will look at the Irish Film Society as a case study for the complexity of international reception of German Cinema during the years 1936-1945. During the 1930s, the culturally conservative government of the young Irish state was reluctant to support local film productions and cinema culture. Founded in 1936, the Irish Film Society (IFS) wanted to counter this policy and develop the local film industry, by acquainting its members with artistical and educational films from all over the world, and promoting local film studies. Looking at the screenings and reception of German films in the IFS from 1936-45 will help highlight the importance of cinema as a cultural bridge in a time of war.

In order to reach a better understanding of Irish reception of the German cinema, this paper first reviews the situation of the Irish film industry in the 1930s. It then examines events held by the Irish Film Society during 1936-1945, relying on programmes issued by the IFS to its members correspondence and publications in Irish newspapers on German cinema. Finally, my paper focuses on one of the co-founders of the IFS, Liam O’Laoghaire, and his writing on German cinema in his book Invitation to the Film (1945). By doing so, this paper highlights the importance of local, non-governmental organizations in the reception and influence of German cinema on national cultures outside of Germany.

Upcoming Events

Date: Monday 14 September
Speaker: Dalila Missero (Oxford Brookes University)
Title: Memories as Transnational Practices: Interviewing Latin American Women About Cinema-Going During a Pandemic

Date: Monday 5 October
Speaker: Rafael de Luna Freire (Federal Fluminense University)
Title: Is the Film Projector in the Right Place? Back Projection as a Regular Practice in Brazilian Movie Theatres of the Silent era.

Date: Monday 2 November
Speaker: Maria Velez Serna
Title: Programming the Virtual Community Cinema

Date: Monday 7 December
Speaker: Jessica Whitehead
Title: Comparative Histories of Cinema Audiences

HoMER Webinar

Speaker: Paul Moore (Ryerson University)

Title: ‘When did “Starts Friday!” start? The shift to standardized movie opening days in North America’.

Time: Monday 6 July, 5pm (UK time)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.

The speaker will present a 20-minute paper, followed by discussion and Q&A.

Abstract

All contemporary moviegoers know movies start Fridays, including at least forty years of my own personal experience. But when, why and how did this shift to a standardized, national opening begin? In May 1973, Variety reported Fox was “trying to line up other majors to go along with a proposed shift from Wednesday to Friday openings.” Was this a catalyst? Was the shift regional? Gradual? First only for wide-release blockbusters? Did some studios or chains or exchange territories test alternatives? Why was Friday chosen, and what factor was behind the industry-wide adoption of “Starts Friday!” as a tagline for almost all films “in theatres everywhere!” My answers turn to newspaper databases, combined with trade discourse in Variety and other available sources (for these quarantined times!) I will present at least one early case study of a metropolitan region, of a wide release on a continental scale, and word search hits for publicity catch phrases. This surprisingly simple question, “When did Starts Friday start?” has no quick and easy answer, and yet it holds the foundation for any investigation of American movie marketing and distribution and a cornerstone shaping the experience of blockbusters as part of weekends and mass leisure.

 Bio

Paul Moore (psmoore@ryerson.ca) is Professor of Communication and Culture at Ryerson University. His media histories of cinema exhibition and newspaper distribution in North America have focused on the relation between audiences and publicity, appearing in Film History, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, and  The Moving Image. Recent work maps early transnational “circuits of cinema,” also theme of the 2017 International HoMER Conference, which he hosted in Toronto.

HoMER 2020 Postponed

With great sadness, the HoMER 2020 organizing committee has decided to postpone this year’s conference. This decision is made in the light of increasing restrictions to international travel and the closing of educational institutions in Ireland in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused. We hope to run the conference next year in Maynooth but will be in touch again soon when we have had a chance to make more detailed plans.
In the meantime, we wish all the best to our colleagues, their friends and families and hope that you come through this crisis safely.

Registration Open for HoMER 2020: Integrating Traditions, 25-27 May 2020, Maynooth University, Ireland

Registration is now open for the HoMER Network’s 2020 conference, which will take place at Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, Ireland on 25-27 May 2020.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Shelley Stamp (Film + Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz)

Professor Joao Luiz Vieira (Cinema and Audiovisual Studies, Universidade Federal Fluminese, Niterói) 

At HoMER 2019 in Nassau, the conference explored ways of developing a more theoretical and methodological grounding for New Cinema History research. Since emerging as a vibrant field of research in the early 2000s, New Cinema History has sought to distinguish itself from Film History by ‘shift[ing] its focus away from the content of films’, in order to examine cinema as a ‘site of social and cultural exchange’ (Maltby 2011: 3). However, in recent years there have been calls to reconsider the significance of the film itself within New Cinema History research. For the Homer 2020 conference INTEGRATING TRADITIONS, we would like to continue answering that call: as cinema historians, we have traditionally drawn on frameworks and methodologies found in fields such as Social Geography, Economics, and Psychology, but how do we integrate these approaches with those of Film History and Film Studies more broadly? Furthermore, in order to become ‘methodologically more mature’ as a discipline, we must also reflect on how we approach comparative research as an essential part of our studies (Biltereyst and Meers 2016: 25). Several empirical research projects have already used these methods within New Cinema History, comparing the cinema-going experience across cultural and geographical contexts; however, still lacking is the integration of productive methodologies from Film Studies.

The aim of HoMER 2020 is to investigate how the traditional approaches of Film Studies  – as well as those disciplines that have shaped NCH to date – can be productively integrated.