Cinema is often perceived as a metropolitan medium - an entertainment product of the big city and for the big city. Yet film exhibitors have been bringing moving pictures to towns and villages since the early days of itinerant shows. This volume presents for the first time an exploration of the social, cultural and economic dynamics of film culture in the European countryside.
Spanning more than a century of film exhibition from the early twentieth-century to the present day, Cinema Beyond the City examines the role that movie-going has played in small-town and rural communities across Europe. It documents an amazing diversity of sites and situations that are relevant for understanding historical and current patterns in film consumption. In chapters written by leading scholars and young academics, interdisciplinary research is used to address key questions about access, economic viability, audience behaviour, film programming and the cultural flows between cities and hinterlands. With its wide range of regional studies and innovative methodological approaches, the collection will be of interest not only to film historians, but also to scholars in the fields of urban history, rural studies and cultural geography.
Judith Thissen is Associate Professor of Film History at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She has published widely on the subject of film culture, cinema audiences and social history in international journals and numerous anthologies. She is the co-editor of Contemporary Culture: New Perspectives on Arts and Humanities Research (2013). In 2011, she launched with Frank Kessler a series of workshops devoted to Comparative Cinema History, focussing in particular on Europe. Clemens Zimmermann is Professor of History and Chair of Cultural and Media History at Saarland University, Germany. He has published extensively on media history, rural-urban relations, and the European metropolis. He is the author of Die Zeit der Metropolen (3rd edition 2015) and Medien im Nationalsozialismus (2007). His edited books include Industrial Cities: History and Future (2013) and Creative Urban Milieus: Historical Perspectives on Culture, Economy and the City (with Martina Hessler, 2008).
Acknowledgments .- Notes on Contributors .- Introduction: A New Approach to European Cinema History; Judith Thissen .- PART I: LOCAL DYNAMICS.- 1. Small-town cinema in Scotland: The particularity of place; John Caughie .- 2. Film culture and the Catholic milieu in the Munsterland: Billerbeck and Telgte in the 1950s; Doerthe Gruttmann.- 3. Where the exceptional and the everyday meet: Exploring cinema culture in British seaside towns; Tim Snelson .- PART II: REGIONAL PATTERNS.- 4. Cinemagoing in Sweden in the 1940s: Civil society organisations and the expansion of rural film exhibition; Asa Jernudd and Mats Lundmark.- 5. Film consumers in the country: The culture and business of cinemagoing in the Netherlands; Judith Thissen.- 6. Cinema and social life in the rural Gironde: Insights from an oral history project; Corinne Marache.- 7. Far from Swinging London: Memories of non-urban cinema-going in 1960s Britain; Matthew Jones .- PART III: ALTERNATICE EXHIBITION PRACTICES.- 8. Corporate film shows and the initiation of rural audiences to film and consumer culture; Yvonne Zimmermann.- 9. 'Coming up this weekend': Ambulant film exhibition in the Netherlands; Thunnis van Oort .- 10. Catholic cinephilia in the countryside: The Jeunesse agricole chretienne and the formation of rural audiences in 1950s France; Melisande Leventopoulos.- 11. Alternative cinema in the youth centre movement in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s; Gunter Mahlerwein.- PART IV: CONTEMPORARY TRENDS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.- 12. Film education, technology and popular culture: Community cinema in rural areas of the United Kingdom; Karina Aveyard.- 13. Le Pestel in Die (Drome): Quality cinema in a semi-rural setting; Kristian Feigelson .- 14. Cinema in the 'fog city': Film exhibition and socio-geography in Flanders; Daniel Biltereyst & Lies van de Vijver .- 15. 'Town centres first': The relocation of the cinema from out-of-town to the town centre in Britain; Stuart Hanson.- Index.