Informace o publikaci

State cinema policies, film business strategies, and audience’s taste structures : Exploring comparative film programming analysis for understanding film popularity in three cities in Belgium and Czechoslovakia, 1952


PORUBČANSKÁ Terézia JOHN Sedgwick DANIEL Biltereyst PHILIPPE Meers

Rok publikování 2019
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis This paper, located at the juncture of historical political economy and “new cinema history” (Maltby, Biltereyst, and Meers 2019), focuses on the local distribution and exhibition networks of cities set in two distinct social-political contexts - Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium and Brno in Czechoslovakia during the early 1950s. While in Czechoslovakia distribution and exhibition was regulated by the state and served to ideological purposes of forming a model of a “new viewer” (Skopal 2012), the Belgium experience was that of an open market, with non-compulsory censorship (Biltereyst and Meers 2014). By comparing the cinema programs of the three comparably-sized cities, we investigate how the two different political systems (state-led socialism vs. free-market capitalism) impacted upon patterns of exhibition and distribution and from this whether distinctive patterns of film taste can be identified. We look into questions on the relation between national cinema policies, local business strategies and film popularity. What were the differences in terms of the exhibition and circulation of films within the three cities? What about differences in popularity of films according to genre, origin, etc.? How popular were Hollywood and other kinds of films (cf. US cultural imperialism thesis)? This historical and political-economic paper is based on a comparative analysis (Sedgwick, Pafort-Overduin, and Boter 2012) of systematically constructed large-scale datasets on film venues (title, location, exhibitor,…) and film programmes (film title, origin, producer,…) in the three cities in 1952 and on data coming from official publications, trade journals and other secondary sources in the two countries. These rich sources also allow us to make comparisons between the cinema cultures of the three cities, including the vintages and countries of origin of films in circulation, the pattern in which films were diffused in the respective city locations and the statistics of popularity.
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