Modern routines: The perception of time and space in film spectators’ memories of cinemagoing in 1940s Buenos Aires

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Nuria Gil Mariño, Cecilia
Kelly-Hopfenblatt, Alejandro
Kriger, Clara
Moguillansky, Marina
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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The renewal of theoretical and methodological tools, putting the spotlight of film historiography on movie audiences and their movie-going routines, has meant a significant shift for the study of national and regional cinemas. The New Cinema History movement has demonstrated the vital importance of introducing in-depth, data-based studies of exhibition, distribution and programming, considering both individual and collective experiences. One trend in this renewal of cinema history are studies that rely on oral testimonies of the elderly to reconstruct their movie-going practices. This article discusses the ways spatial and temporal perceptions appear in oral narratives of movie-going experiences in Buenos Aires during the 1940s and 1950s. Based on twenty qualitative interviews with elderly men and women who attended cinemas during that period, we explore how through their imaginaries they build a certain place in the past that shows sharp contrasts to the perceived present. We trace the ways in which memories are intertwined with the emergence of modern routines in their environment and the way the cinematographic experience affected the audience’s mental cartography of the different environments of Buenos Aires. Film consumption, which included not only going to the pictures but also a constant presence of its imaginaries in their daily life, led them to develop new sensorial skills, helping them face a changing world.
Buenos Aires’ cinema audiences , Movie-going routines , Buenos Aires’s cinema cartography , Film consumption , Oral history
Nuria Gil Mariño, C., Kelly-Hopfenblatt, A., Kriger, C. and Moguillansky, M. (2021) 'Modern routines: The perception of time and space in film spectators’ memories of cinemagoing in 1940s Buenos Aires', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 21, pp. 160-177.