Archives

Film Reissues

Film Reissues are an important but largely unexplored part of the studio-exhibition-reception mix.  At various times reissues could account for 10%-plus of the U.S. box office and recent years have seen the annual recurring phenomenon of It’s A Wonderful Life and Casablanca.

The Histories and Politics of Cinema’s Globalisation in South Africa: audiences, cultures, memories

This research focuses on the histories and politics of cinema’s globalisation in South Africa. Currently it is focused on an initial case study of District Six, Cape Town, where Hollywood and British films were distributed before it was demolished under apartheid in the 1960s. While disenfranchised under apartheid, District Six residents were ‘cinema citizens’, both locally and in the global public sphere. Potential collaborative areas of interest include: audiences, archive, consumption, memory, oral histories, place and space, reception, and urban studies.

Early cinema in Poland

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.

Illustrated Lantern Lectures in British Poor Relief

When in 1896 viewers flocked to the cinematograph shows to marvel at the ‘latest wonder’: the ‘living photographs’, they sat down facing a white wall looking forward, without any doubt, to watch pictures made from light which soon would emerge on that wall. In 1896, the cinematograph was a novelty, but pictures projected on a screen was a practice well-known to everybody. Already from the 1850s onward, the screen had been established in the public sphere for audiences to view pictures. In Britain, apart from commercial entertainers and apart from institutions as the Royal Polytechnic, there were a number of welfare organisations which organised illustrated lantern lectures to promote their activities in mission and poor relief as the Sunday School Union, the Salvation Army, the Church Army, the Band of Hope etc. They developed ingenious distribution strategies to find their audiences. Their illustrated lantern shows proved very popular: They created multimedia shows with well-directed performances, appealing to the senses of the spectators. Lantern shows in British poor relief served perfectly to persuade their audiences of welfare purposes and enriched exhibition culture.

Seaside Cinema Culture in Britain

The project aims to analyse the specificities, experience and significance of cinemagoing in seaside towns in East Anglia from the 1940s to 1970s. The initial stages of research will focus on the programming and discursive construction of specific cinemas (and other sites that showed films including the circus) in Great Yarmouth; this will be conducted via archival research of local newspaper, cinema programmes and cinema manager’s records.
Initial research suggests that programming varied from that of urban centres in the region but was also marked by shifting programming and divergent forms of entertainment on and off-season. The second stage of the project (for which funding is being sought) will be an oral history conducted with cinema employees and cinema-goers in Great Yarmouth (and potentially beyond). The project aims to build upon the research of those working within the ‘New Cinema History’ (Fuller-Seeley 2008; Knight 2011; Van de Vijver and Biltereyst 2012) in using localized case studies not as a means to ‘illuminate national trends’ – as Arthur’s study of Blackpool’s conversion to ‘Talkies’ is hoped to reveal – but to reveal the specificities, incongruities and shifting landscapes (both seasonally and historically) of cinema- going in seaside resorts marked by contradictory impulses of the everyday (local inhabitants) and the exceptional (seasonal tourists).

Cinema Mass Consumption and the Commercialization of Youth Culture

The proposed research program aims to generate a better understanding of the role that cinema has played in the commodification of culture and the emergence of consumption-based lifestyles in relation to the emergence of post-war consumer society and against the backdrop of increased social and geographic mobility. It takes the Netherlands as a case study but in its international context.
The research centers on cinema’s core audience: teenagers and people in their early twenties. Historically, this group has dominated the audience for movies from the very beginnings of cinema presentation and thus shaped in important ways film production, distribution and exhibition. Cinema for its part has shaped youth culture, notably by 1. circulating more or less idealized images of youth and youth culture and 2. by providing youngsters a site for social exchange and sub-cultural identity formation.
While throughout history, young people have claimed and negotiated distinctive sub-cultural identities, the post-war era witnessed the rapid commercialization and institutionalization of youth culture. A major factor in this process seems to have been the spread of Americanized mass consumer culture in Europe, which in the Netherlands intersected with the process of de-pillarization (ontzuiling). For comparative perspectives, the program will draw upon case studies in Germany and Belgium (new research) and existing literature (broader international perspective).

The application will be developed around the following four central themes:
• geographic dynamics of cinema culture: centers versus peripheries
• social dynamics of consumer culture: politics of inclusion and exclusion
• cultural dynamic of film consumption and film fan culture: national versus international productions/stars; changes in reference culture
• cross-media consumption: interaction between old and new media.

The Multiplex in India

I have a longstanding interest in audiences for Indian films and their formation within particular exhibition networks, economies and environments. To date, my research has encompassed dispersed transnational audiences for playback media, crossover audiences in the festival circuit and cinema audiences in different parts of the world. As part of this wider interest in exhibition, I have studied the multiplex format in detail at a national and local level in India. My primary sites of study to date have been the cities of Bangalore, Vadodora and New Delhi, where I will be conducting additional fieldwork this year.

Early Cinema-going in Colonial Indonesia

The research focuses on the exhibition, production and consumption of moving pictures in the Dutch colonies of the Netherlands Indies (present-day Indonesia). It examines the development of the local cinema-going scene within the multicultural popular entertainment culture, which consisted of local and imported forms of public amusements, studying the adaptation and hybridisation processes that moving picture exhibition underwent in order to appeal to local audiences.