- Core Course: Moving images, technologies, forms, receptions
- Reading Films
- Ancient Rome on Film
- Film Exhibition
- The French New Wave
- Genre in Italian Cinema
- Hollywood Genres
- New Argentine Cinemas
- Russian Cinema: Epochs and Genres
- Theories and Practices of Film
- Weimar and Nazi Film
- Intercollegiate Modules (2013-14)
- Public Nightmares: Screening Cold War Anxieties
- Cinema and the British City
- Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
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Course code: ENGLGF09
Credit value: 30
This course offers an introduction to the study of film exhibition – that is, where, why, and how people have come together to show and watch films. To plot a course through this topic, we will focus on film exhibition in the USA and the UK, choosing examples from three main periods of cinema history: early and silent cinema; post-World War Two cinema; and cinema since the 1980s. These periods coincide roughly with major shifts in the field of exhibition associated with: the emergence of cinema; the rise of television; and the advent of video and digital technologies. It is hoped that this structure will allow us to think carefully about film exhibition in very specific historical circumstances, as well as encouraging us to identify trends and similarities over time. One of the aims of the course is, therefore, to make film history speak to the contemporary exhibition landscape. What might an analysis of early travelling ‘bioscope’ shows, for instance, tell us about the appeal of film festivals and ‘pop-up’ cinemas in the twenty-first century? Or, what insight do we stand to gain into the ‘immersive’ experiences offered by companies like Secret Cinema by looking at the combination of film and live entertainment on display in 1920s movie palaces?
Within each of our historical ‘moments’, we will explore three constituent aspects of film exhibition: the material spaces of exhibition; the social experience of moviegoing; and the programming and promotional practices that underpin what films we get to see. To complement our reading and viewing around these subjects, the course will also include field trips to local film exhibition sites around London. While the case studies we explore in our weekly seminars will focus on US and UK examples, there will be opportunity (both through discussion and through your own research) to reflect on the history and future of film exhibition elsewhere in the world.
Course Tutors: Dr Chris O'Rourke
Assessment: one 5,000-word essay
Screenings and field trips: Each week, we will spend time outside the seminar either watching films that elucidate the seminar topic or visiting places in London connected to historic or current exhibition practices. Details of the screenings and field trips will be confirmed towards the start of the course.
General reading list:
· Gregory A. Waller (ed.), Moviegoing in America: A Sourcebook in the History of Film Exhibition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002).
· Ina Rae Hark (ed.), Exhibition, The Film Reader (London: Routledge, 2002).
· Richard Maltby, Melvyn Stokes, and Robert C. Allen (eds), Going to the Movies: Hollywood and the Social Experience of the Cinema (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2007).
· Richard Maltby, Daniel Biltereyst, and Philippe Meers (eds), Explorations in New Cinema History: Approaches and Case Studies (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).
· Karina Aveyard and Albert Moran (eds), Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-going, Exhibition and Reception (Bristol: Intellect, 2013).
· Douglas Gomery, Shared Pleasures: A History of Movie Presentation in the United States (London: BFI, 1990).
· Stuart Hanson, From Silent Screen to Multi-Screen: A History of Cinema Exhibition in Britain Since 1896 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007).