JUST PUBLISHED by 2013 IAMHIST conference participants

“Moralizing Cinema: Film, Catholicism, and Power” (Routledge, 2015), edited by Daniel Biltereyst and Daniela Treveri Gennari

This volume, edited by Daniel Biltereyst and Daniela Treveri Gennari, is part of the recent interest in the study of religion and popular media culture (cinema in particular), but it strongly differs from most of this work in this maturing discipline. Contrary to most other edited volumes and monographs on film and religion, Moralizing Cinema does not focus upon films (cf. the representation of biblical figures, religious themes in films, the fidelity question in movies), but rather looks beyond the film text, content or aesthetics, by concentrating on the cinema-related actions, strategies and policies developed by the Catholic Church and Catholic organizations in order to influence cinema. Whereas the key role of Catholics in cinema has been well studied in the USA (cf. literature on the Legion of Decency and on the Catholic influenced Production Code Administration), the issue remains unexplored for other parts of the world. This book includes case studies on Argentina, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and the USA.

“Finally, an investigation that demonstrates the close negotiation between film policies and filmmakers, power and art, ethics and aesthetics, as influenced by a variety of Catholic- inspired initiatives. This is a much needed intervention into the study of film and culture
alike.” — Ernest Mathijs, University of British Columbia, Canada

“This is a timely book providing well-researched case studies about the historical influence of religious organizations (in this case the Catholic Church) in the production, distribution, exhibition and consumption of films, from policies and leaders to censorship and audiences. A required text for cinema and media students and scholars interested in a comprehensive analysis of a relevant but under-researched topic. — Jose-Carlos Lozano, Texas A&M University, USA


Editors’ introduction: Catholics, cinema and power: An introduction

Part 1. Policies

1.      Guido Convents: Resisting the lure of the modern world. Catholics, international politics, and the establishment of the International Catholic Office for Cinema  (1918-1928)
2.      Dario Viganò: The Church, cinema and the ‘culture of dialogue’: Italian Catholics and the movies after the Second World War
3.      Thomas Doherty: The rise and fall of Catholic Hollywood, or from the Production Code to The Da Vinci Code
4.      Francisco Peredo-Castro: Catholicism and Mexican cinema. A secular state, a deeply conservative society and a powerful Catholic hierarchy

Part 2. Leaders

5.      Paul Lesch: Jean Bernard’s fight for ‘good’ cinema in Luxembourg
6.      Mélisande Leventopoulos: An alternative way of moralizing cinema: Father Flipo’s remedy for the Catholic Church’s propaganda failure in France (1945-1962)
7.      Elena Dagrada: A Triple Alliance for a catholic neorealism: Father Morlion and Roberto Rossellini

Part 3. Technology and production

8.      Karel Dibbetts: A Catholic voice in talking pictures: the International Eidophon Company (1930-1934)
9.      Federico Ruozzi: Pius XII as actor and subject: on the representation of the papal figure in cinema and television during the 1940s and 1950s
10.     Tomaso Subini: The Failed Project of a Catholic Neorealism: On Rossellini, Andreotti, Morlion and the Catholic Film Action

Part 4. Censorship and control

11.     Kevin Rockett: Protectionism and Catholic film policy in twentieth-century Ireland
12.     Maria Elena de las Carrera: A case of entente cordiale between State and Church: Catholics and film control in Argentina (1954-1984)
13.     Mariagrazia Fanchi: The ‘Ideal Film’. On the transformation of the Italian Catholic film and media policy in the 1950s and the 1960s

Part 5. Exhibition and cinema-going experiences

14.     Thunnis van Oort: Separating the sheep from the goats: Gendering space in the Cinema Auditorium in Rucphen (1929)
15.     Daniel  Biltereyst: “I think Catholics didn’t go to the cinema”: Catholic film exhibition strategies and cinema-going experiences in Belgium, 1930s-1960s
16.     Daniela Treveri Gennari: Moralizing cinema while attracting audiences: Catholic film exhibition in post-war Rome

Notes on contributors

Publication: New Media, Culture & Society special section: Digital Media – Social Memory

For those interested in the intersection of social media and social
memory, Media, Culture&  Society has just published a special section
with papers studying different field sites in Singapore, Cambodia and
Australia as well among Cuban-Americans in Miami where digitally
networked technologies were used in and for processes of social

*Media, Culture&  Society (September 2014 issue, no. 36(6)) special
section: Digital media – social memory*
Guest editors: Christian Pentzold and Christine Lohmeier

Find the special section here

In times when all walks of live seem to be mediated, in the ubiquitous
presence of communication devices and ever more ways to produce,
store, remix and distribute messages, the special section assembles
research and thinking on the relationship of social media and social
memory and to ponder on key themes of current as well as future
research. Memory and media are inseparable. Since the very beginnings
of human culture, media have been employed to fix, share and store
expressions and impressions of individual and collective experiences.
Remembrance thus lives and sustains itself in mediated memorable
objects and symbolic representations that become enmeshed and
activated in memory work such as colloquial conversation, ritual
ceremonies, retrospectives or reminiscences. Moreover, from wall
paints and cuneiforms via manuscripts and prints to the rise of
networked electronic infrastructures and digital media,
socio-technical innovations reassemble the practices and materials of
individual and collective commemorations. Taking this continuing twin
relation, the special section captures empirical research that studies
the interplay of current media and social changes and the acts and
artefacts of memory. Given the swift appearance, broad diffusion and
profound impact of novel connective and mobile services and
applications, the special section considers how social media relate to
the ways we ‘do’ memory.


Media, Culture&  Society (September 2014, issue 36, no. 6: pp.
745-809). Special section: Digital media – social memory. Guest
editors: Christian Pentzold and Christine Lohmeier

Emily Keightley and Philip Schlesinger
Digital media – social memory: remembering in digitally networked times
Media, Culture&  Society September 2014 36: 745-747,

Anna Reading
Seeing red: a political economy of digital memory
Media, Culture&  Society September 2014 36: 748-760,

Kai Khiun Liew, Natalie Pang, and Brenda Chan
Industrial railroad to digital memory routes: remembering the last
railway in Singapore
Media, Culture&  Society September 2014 36: 761-775, 2014

Christine Lohmeier and Christian Pentzold
Making mediated memory work: Cuban-Americans, Miami media and the
doings of diaspora memories
Media, Culture&  Society September 2014 36: 776-789, 2014

Stephanie Benzaquen
Looking at the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes, Cambodia, on
Flickr and YouTube
Media, Culture&  Society September 2014 36: 790-809, 2014

New Book: Studying The British Crime Film

Studying The British Crime Film
Paul Elliott

ISBN: 978-1-906733-74-2   £18.99

Ever since its inception, British cinema has been obsessed with crime and the criminal. One of the first narrative films to be produced in Britain, the 1905 short Rescued by Rover, was a fast paced tale of abduction and kidnap and the first British sound film, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929), was concerned with murder and criminal guilt. Yet for a genre that is seemingly so important to the British cinematic character, there is little direct theoretical or historical work written upon it. The Britain of British cinema is often written about in terms of its national history, its ethnic diversity or its cultural tradition but very rarely in terms of its criminal tendencies and its darker underbelly. Studying the British Crime Film makes the assumption that, in order to know how British cinema truly works, it is necessary to pull back the veneer of the costume piece, the historical drama or the rom-com and take a glimpse at what hides beneath.

Studying the British Crime Film looks closely at a variety films relating to different aspects of criminal behaviour, including gangland culture from Brighton Rock (1947) to Essex Boys (2000), the heist film from The League of Gentlemen (1960) to Sexy Beast (2000), from the post-war serial killer of 10 Rillington Place (1971) to the seedy underworld of contemporary Britain in London to Brighton (2006). Each chapter not only offers an in-depth reading of the films under discussion but also guides the reader through the processes of studying British cinema in terms of both genre and nationality, giving practical skills as well as theoretical knowledge.

Paul Elliott teaches Film and Film Theory at the University of Worcester. He has published on Hitchcock, embodied film theory and the French psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, as well as various elements of British cinema.

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