Journal Article

The place of film in cinema memory


Recent academic debates within New Cinema History have highlighted a tendency to overlook the role played by the film in historical studies of cinema and its audiences (Aveyard, 2011; Biltereyst, 2018). This article aims to address this gap by moving towards a more film-centric analysis of the cinema-going experience and investigating the place of film in cinema memory. We draw from and expand previous work on cinema memory and focus on the intersection between individual and collective engagement with and reception of films. The focus of our analysis is the oral history (over 1000 questionnaires and 160 video-interviews) collected in the Italian Cinema Audiences (2013-2016) project, which provides the first study of cinema audiences in Italy in the 1950s by analysing film-goers’ memories and contextualizing them with box-office figures and film industry data. This project puts audiences at the centre of the cinema-going experience and aims to explore the importance of film in everyday life. In this article, we investigate what is remembered about films and how films are discussed by audiences who used to go to the cinema in post-war Italy, a time in which films were one of the most widely consumed and popular cultural products. By examining Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939) ‒ our respondents’ most mentioned film ‒ as a case study, we aim to formulate a new taxonomy of film memory that reflects content, modality of recollection, and function of memories of films in order to re-examine the place of film in cinema memory.

Attached files


Dibeltulo, Silvia
Treveri Gennari, Daniela

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Arts


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-10-28

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is Identical to The Place of Film in Cinema Memory (originally published in Participations, vol. 19, no. 2, p. 207-223 (March 2023)).


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