Analyzing memories through video-interviews

A case study of post-war Italian cinemagoing

Authored by: Daniela Treveri Gennari , Silvia Dibeltulo , Danielle Hipkins , Catherine O’Rawe

The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138955844
eBook ISBN: 9781315666051
Adobe ISBN:


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“Italian Cinema Audiences” is a collaborative research project exploring memories of cinemagoing in Italy in the 1950s, which ran from 2013 to 2016. 1 The project’s research sits within the work of new cinema history, since it borrows social and cultural historical methodologies to produce a new history of Italian audiences. The project focuses particularly on the importance of cinema in everyday life, and the social experience of cinemagoing, by interviewing audience members, analyzing their responses using qualitative data analysis software and contextualizing these responses through further archival research. In the first stage of this process, over a thousand Italians aged over 65 were asked to respond to a structured questionnaire in order to elicit both statistical data about their filmgoing experiences as well as their memories. Assisted by the cultural organization Blumedia and Italian University of the Third Age, the questionnaire was distributed to a range of participants from eight provincial and eight urban locations. The cities of Bari, Rome, Turin, Milan, Palermo, Naples, Cagliari, and Florence were selected from the sixteen urban centers used by AGIS (Associazione Generale Italiana dello Spettacolo, the Italian National Exhibitors Association) to monitor box-office intake in the chosen period. Urban locations were complemented by provincial locations in Puglia, Lazio, Piedmont, Lombardy, Sicily, Campania, Sardinia, and Tuscany. Our responses were divided almost equally between men and women, between city and province, and crossed a full range of class backgrounds. 2

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