European Cinema Audiences

ECA is a comparative research project that explores European film cultures in the 1950s. The project, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (2018-2021) is led by Oxford Brookes University, Ghent University, and De Montfort University. It stems from the British Academy / Leverhulme fund in 2016.

During the 20th century, film was one of the most widely spread and popular cultural products. But even in the heydays of the 1950s, films were not distributed, viewed nor experienced everywhere in the same way. For the study of cinema as a cultural practice, historical research into the experience of cinemagoing is a quintessential area of research. The corpus of data on European cinema cultures is very heterogeneous. Some European institutions have been working on large national datasets. However, up to now there is hardly any comparative research. In this context, a comparative research model will re-evaluate the popular reception of film using an ethnographic audience study while reconstructing the film programming and exhibition structure in seven mid-sized European cities: Ghent (Belgium), Bari (Italy), Leicester (Great Britain), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Brno (Czech Republic), Magdeburg (Germany), and Gothenburg (Sweden).

Go To Project

Swedish Cinema and Everyday Life

“Swedish Cinema and Everyday Life: A study of cinema-going in its peak and decline”, is financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR, 2019-2022). Åsa Jernudd, Örebro University, is principal investigator. The purpose of the project is to further our knowledge of cinema as part of everyday life in 1950s and 1960s Sweden and to deepen our understanding about how cinema-going is remembered. Video-recordings of memories of the audience’s experiences of cinema-going are used in a triangulated analysis involving also programming data and other contemporary, cinema-related material. One focus of analysis is to understand the experience of cinema audiences in urban as well as more rural locations. Another is to further the understanding of cinema memory as gendered. The study is also designed to reveal and compare narratives from a time when cinema-going was routine and ordinary as well as from a period of decline.

This study of “Swedish Cinema and Everyday Life” will offer a fresh perspective on canonized film history by providing a history of cinema-going from below. Furthermore, by combining ethnographic methods and archival research, the research will provide new perspectives on the relationship between institutional contexts of film consumption and audience memories of cinema-going. In collaboration with The National Library and Cinema Histories, the project will record and make available an important cultural heritage consisting of visual and textual historical evidence of cinema exhibition.

Go To Project

Cinema Belgica

Cinema Belgica is an open access platform, exploring Belgium’s rich cinema history. Its extensive database forms a starting point for everyone who wants to dive into the history of cinema in Belgium. Whether used as an encyclopaedia, an analytical tool, or a vehicle for exploration, the Cinema Belgica platform is a place where researchers and film lovers can find a wealth of information about cinema as a dominant entertainment industry and a lived, popular culture in Belgium from 1896 onwards.

Go To Project