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A Counter-Cartography of 1920s Paris Film Culture
The result of the British Academy postdoctoral project will be the creation of an interactive historical map of 1920s Parisian cinema culture. Most scholarship on French cinema in the inter-war period has focused on the critical and theoretical writings of a small group of predominantly bourgeois, intellectual film critics now known as the first “cinephiles”. As a result, film histories of the 20s tend to overlook the existence of a vibrant and unruly culture of working-class cinema audiences. As opposed to the cinephiles, who moved in the sphere of public, nation-wide publications, the cinema-centred practices of ordinary cinema-goers were embedded in the cultural and political concerns of local communities and the personal aspirations of individual Parisians. This project will therefore explore alternative data such as autobiographical accounts, news stories, fan letters, and details of political meetings held in cinemas. This data will be integrated into a digital map with which users can experience the richness of cinema-going in1920s Paris.
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