Filmgoing or cinemagoing? The role of the film text within cinema memory
Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
Drawing upon original ethnographic research of rural Welsh audiences, this article meets a burgeoning trend within cinema history studies of reconsidering the importance that film texts can have in benefitting our understanding of social or cultural past. Arguing a perceived separation between the approaches of the New Film History and New Cinema History, the author highlights the benefits of incorporating text-based foci into his research, prompted by a notable separation between those that recalled the social environment of the cinema and those who discussed films, with little crossover between the two. With a dataset that largely recollects the late-1950s and 60s, these fresh textual considerations prompt modifications to existing scholarship pertaining to Britain’s previous generation of cinema audiences, highlighting a particularity of period that primarily revolves around the emergence of pop-stars and the teenage subculture. Equally, cultural factors such as a rising sentiment of Welsh nationalism are explored through film centred memories and textual analysis, highlighting the vivid semiotics and structures of Welsh national identity. These nuances of Welsh national identity and strengthened feelings of nationalism from the recollected period are explored through analysis of How Green Was My Valley, a US production, and its somewhat counterintuitive popularity with respondents as a “Welsh” film.
New cinema history , New film history , Cinema memory , Film text , Rural audiences
Terrill, J. (2021) 'Filmgoing or cinemagoing? The role of the film text within cinema memory', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 21, pp. 178-192. doi: 10.33178/alpha.21.11