Book chapter 559 views
‘Young Film Friends’: Gendering Children’s Film Culture in Interwar Film Periodicals
The Edinburgh History of Children’s Periodicals
Swansea University Author: Lisa Smithstead
This chapter explores children's film magazines as a particular subsection of the film periodical industry, considering how it conceptualised and addressed child readers in Britain in the interwar period. By comparing and contrasting archival examples of children’s film periodicals drawn primar...
|Published in:||The Edinburgh History of Children’s Periodicals|
Edinburgh University Press
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This chapter explores children's film magazines as a particular subsection of the film periodical industry, considering how it conceptualised and addressed child readers in Britain in the interwar period. By comparing and contrasting archival examples of children’s film periodicals drawn primarily from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum (BDCM) in Exeter, the chapter illuminates some key distinctions in the way male and female children were addressed by the extra-textual cultures of cinemagoing. It considers how young viewers were trained to read film narratives through extra-textual media, but also how they were encouraged to read film culture more broadly through a gendered lens by engaging with the distinct multimedia format of the film periodical. I argue that gender-specific children’s magazines served both overlapping and distinct functions in training their young readerships. Boy readers were encouraged to access and understand cinema culture primarily through genre and representations of rituals of adult masculinity, and girl readers were encouraged to connect film culture to broader practices of femininity and modernity focused on etiquette, fashion, and heterosexual courtship. In analysing these overlaps and distinctions, the chapter sheds new light on an under-researched section of British cinema audience in this period and presents a fresh interrogation of ephemeral material often side-lined rather than centralised in the study of historical cinema cultures.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences