Pierluigi Ercole, Daniela Treveri-Gennari, and Lies Van de Vijver
The History of Cinemagoing: Archives and Projects Dossier which completes this issue of Alphaville devoted to new explorations in cinema, memory and the past is comprised of five essays which make use of memories of cinemagoing for diverse and distinctive projects.
In her essay “Cinema Memories in 3D Modelling and Virtual Reality Storytelling: The Odeon Cinema in Udine”, Elena Roaro investigates how historical documents related to the cinema Odeon in Udine, Italy and the memories of its cinemagoers can be used in a project that aimed at reconstructing the cinema building using Virtual Reality and therefore simulate new experiences of attending a now-lost, important site of local cinema history. Similarly, in her essay “Hiding in Plain Sight: A Case Study of a Cinema History Project in Leeds”, Laura Ager discusses the origin and the development of the Hiding in Plain Sight project whose aim is to engage the citizens of Leeds, UK with the cinema history heritage of their city. Working with the material gathered in the 1990s for a pioneering project led by Annette Kuhn, in “A Digital Archive Is Born: Revisiting the Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain Collection” Julia McDowell and Annie Nissen provide an insightful analysis of the opportunities and related challenges presented by the Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive (CMDA) project based at the University of Lancaster, UK. In particular, the authors guide the reader through the process of bringing such a wealth of material into the realm of digital humanities.
The following two essays investigate how memories of cinemagoing emerged from different socio-historical contexts and consider the cultural milieu in which those memories have been shaped. Focusing on memories of moviegoing in Buenos Aires during the 1940s and 1950s in their “Modern Routines: The Perception of Time and Space in Film Spectators’ Memories of Cinema-Going in 1940s Buenos Aires”, Cecilia Nuria Gil Mariño, Alejandro Kelly-Hopfenblatt, Clara Kriger, Marina Moguillansky, and Sonia Sasiain discuss questions of spatial and temporal perceptions and analyse how they emerge from oral narratives of film consumption. Finally, in “Filmgoing or Cinemagoing? The Role of the Film Text within Cinema Memory” Jamie Terrill draws upon his research of rural Welsh audiences to analyse the role film texts play in the understanding of the past and to investigate the relationship between Welsh national identity, its representations and the perception of it by film audiences.
Ercole, Pierluigi, Daniela Treveri-Gennari, and Lies Van de Vijver. Introduction. History of Cinemagoing: Archives and Projects Dossier, Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, no. 21, 2021, pp. 111–112, https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.21.06.
Pierluigi Ercole is an Associate Professor in Film Studies at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK). He is Co-Investigator for the project European Cinema Audiences: Entangled Histories & Shared Memories (AHRC 2018–21). With Daniela Treveri Gennari and Lies Van de Vijver he has recently published the article “Challenges to Comparative Oral Histories of Cinema Audiences” in TMG Journal for Media History, vol. 23, no. 1–2, 2020, and he is currently co-editing the Palgrave Handbook of Comparative New Cinema Histories (forthcoming 2022).
Daniela Treveri-Gennari is Professor of Cinema Studies at Oxford Brookes University with a research interest in audiences, popular cinema, film exhibition and programming. Daniela is currently leading the AHRC-funded project European Cinema Audiences: Entangled Histories and Shared Memories. Amongst her recent publications, the jointly authored monograph Italian Cinema Audiences: Histories and Memories of Cinema-going in Post-war Italy (Bloomsbury: London/New York, 2020).
Lies Van de Vijver is Co-Investigator and Project manager of European Cinema Audiences 2018–2022 (www.europeancinemaaudiences.org), an AHRC-funded comparative research into cinema audiences in seven European cities in the 1950s. She recently published Mapping Movie Magazines: Digitization, periodicals and Cinema History (2020, Palgrave) with Daniel Biltereyst, awarded Runner-Up for Best Edited Collection 2021, BAFTSS. She is currently writing “Gent Filmstad” on the history of cinema and film posters in Ghent and together with Daniela Treveri Gennari and Pierluigi Ercole editing the handbook Comparing New Cinema Histories: Methodologies and Practices from a Global Perspective.