Towards a systematic comparative approach to historical cinema city cultures: The case of film programming in Antwerp and Ghent, 1952

Autoři

PORUBČANSKÁ Terézia MEERS Philippe

Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Citace
Popis Comparative research is high on the agenda of new cinema historiography, with a growing number of film programming databases emerging across the world. Among the analyses of local exhibition strategies, distribution patterns, cinema networks or of film audiences, there are also few instances of zooming out from the local scope to a broader, transnational level and of adopting comparative research strategies (e.g. Sedgwick, Pafort-Overduin, and Boter, 2012; Van Oort, 2016; Biltereyst, Van Oort & Meers, 2018). Drawing on the databases resulting from the Belgian cinema culture project The Enlightened City, this paper develops a methodology for systematic comparative research on historical urban cinema cultures. Focusing on two mid-size Belgian cities, Antwerp and Ghent in 1952, this paper relies on a standardized structure of datasets, and will focus more on testing the functionality and effectiveness of the proposed methodology than on the results themselves. We will apply cluster analysis to the programming data, exploring and comparing programming strategies and film preferences in cinemas. From the programming data, we can learn about the programming strategies of cinemas as well as preferences of their audiences. We will ask for example which cinemas focused mainly on screening films of certain distribution companies or countries of origin; which cinemas shared the same films on program; or if the official censorship marking was important for cinema owners, etc. The clusters created on the basis of these questions will help us to reveal new relationships between cinemas within and among the two cities, and to look for their explanations in additional contextual archival material. We intend to create a methodology that would be applicable not only across the geographical borders but hopefully across the disciplinary divides as well, and that would give us an opportunity to transcend borders between datasets and find relations among them.