Film culture today is the result of a historical process in which movie theatres and film, through economical and ideological lines, became prominent parts of the cultural and social life. This media historic research project focuses on the interaction between the pilarization, the commercial imperative and the concrete film experience. The project works on several crucial items: the exploitation of the movie and image industry vs. the experience, commercial vs. ideological imperatives, top-down vs. bottom-up forces, publicvs. private space and media experience.
This follow-up project is inspired by the New Cinema History perspective within film and media studies, whereby researchers concentrate upon the social embedding and the lived experiences of cinemagoing.
The main goal of the empirical research “Cinema Located. Place, space and experience of cinema in Ghent (1982-2012)” is to understand the social experience of screen culture from the emergence of the multiplex in Ghent in 1982 to the absorption of film in digital culture in the present day. From a theoretical point of view, the research will focus on defining place as a spatial site of cinema, and space as a constructed social site of cinemagoing. The multiplex in Ghent will serve as a microhistory to exemplify the experiences of fundamental changes in the history of film ever since the coming of sound. The research will contain a structural analysis of the film exhibition scene (using archival material on geographical locations and policy), a programming research (describing the supply and popularity of films) and an oral history research on the experience of moviegoing to define the social in a post-moviegoing era and more specifically can I determine the nature of the eventfulness?
Current exploratory research into the soft-erotic cinema Leopold in Ghent (1919-1981) uncovered the missing history of erotic film exhibition in Belgium.
This research examines local film culture based on the analysis of actual attendance and revenue figures from the major first run cinema of Ghent, the Capitole, between 1953 and 1971 as a Belgian case study for the cinema culture descending into crisis.
Mapping Movies is a digital discovery environment in which users explore changing landscapes of social and spatial history by investigating the grounded locations and movements of moving pictures. The site promotes spatial thinking and historical inquiry about the relations between media access, public infrastructure, social geography, cultural networks, economic development, community building and collective memory.
Cinemagoing and film exhibition in the Great War era in Belgium.
The Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, North Somerset, UK – originally opened in 1912 as The Picture House. The app provides a geo-located tour of the inside and outside of the building using QR codes and GPS. The project celebrates 100-years of cinema-going in Cleveon, including oral history, dramatisation and rephotography of archive images.
The subject of the project is early cinema exhibition and other forms of popular entertainment in big cities and small town environment of Polish provinces of the Russian Empire before WWI in the context of modernity and modernization. In this way I would like to contribute to two academic debates: 1) on the history of early cinema and 2) on the cultural dimension of modernization. In the first case I am going to examine how the cinema developed on the peripheries of the modern world-system, in the second, what was the role of cinema in the development of peripheral regions.
The project investigates the distinctive development of distribution and exhibition from travelling shows to large fixed-site cinemas in urban, rural and small-town Scotland, as well as the production of local topicals and the factors which seem to have inhibited the development of a sustainable feature film production capacity.