In the press
'This volume, edited by experienced and knowledgeable scholars with international reputations, gathers together a fascinating set of essays that, taken together, illuminate the historical relationships among films, moviegoing, and modernity.
The focus of this wide-ranging work is Europe, and the justification for this focus is compelling. The bulk of historical scholarship on the experience of cinema, the social experience of moviegoing, the history of cinematic reception, and movies audiences derives from case studies in the United States, dating back to the 1970s. In the meantime, a new generation of film scholars have turned their attention to the quite different contexts within which films were shown and viewed. Exhibition and moviegoing patterns varied markedly not only between national cinemas but also within particular nations. These differences raise interesting questions about the role of religion, language, cultural difference, gender, and ethnicity in patterns of movie exhibition, distribution, reception, and attendance.
Geographic coverage is admirably broad, setting up possibilities for comparative analysis among a number of nations, regions, and locales. Similarly, the chronological coverage is broad: ranging from the early periods of film history through the post-war period.
This collection fits very well with a growing literature on the history of the experience of cinema, and it will add significantly to our knowledge base on the particularities and commonalities of European film culture as viewed from the bottom up.' Robert C. Allen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
'The essays use a range of research methodologies, including oral history, to produce a 'new cinema history' that takes greater account of audience reception and that acknowledges the importance of the audience as consumers of films. (...) This provides thought-provoking insights into the relationshipos bewteen cinema and modernity in different European contexts, and the essays in this volume, of a consistently high standard, span a chronological period from 1895 to 1970. Cinema, Audiences and Modernity is essential reading for those interested in audiences, reception and the social values and cultural history of cinema in the nineteenth and twentieth century.' Helen Rajabi, European Review of History, 19(4), August 2012
'(the essays) represent an exciting stage in the disciplinary development of what the editors call 'new cinema history'. (...) This work has a sense of actuality and urgency that is remarkable given its historical nature. (The book) combine(s) careful and intelligent editing with the vibrancy of a work in progress. The pose is impeccable and the chapters resonate with each other with no jarring shifts in register. With technological changes making collaborative, scalable projects an increasingly frequent form of scholarly practice, the (book) reviewed set(s) a high standard for a field that is evidently thriving.' Maria A. Vélez-Serna, Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television, 32(3), September 2012
'...Biltereyst, Maltby, and Meers volumes have a legitimate claim to providing perhaps the most varied comparative data available to date. In doing so, they also counter accusations of provincialism within individual studies, for they begin to establish a potentially global and transhistorical mapping of cinema exhibition.' Joe Kember, Early Popular Visual Culture
'Biltereyst, Maltby and Meers' edited collection in the end manages to expand...the boundaries of what we understand as modernity, its relationship and association to cinema; in addition, and more importantly perhaps, it stretches the historiographical map of Early European Cinema research towards territories and methodologies not yet common.' Tonia Zakakopoulou, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies