Off to the Pictures offers a rich new exploration of gendered cultures of cinema between the wars, and their complex intersections with literary media.
Examining a range of writings, from newspapers and magazines to middlebrow and modernist fictions, Lisa Stead argues that the diverse storytelling media that women constructed around filmgoing came to constitute a gendered intermedial movie culture at this time.
Looking at the writings of figures such as Winifred Holtby, Stella Gibbons, Elizabeth Bowen, Jean Rhys, Elinor Glyn, C.
A. Lejeune and Iris Barry, the book draws upon new archival research and close textual readings to interrogate a literary preoccupation with the figure of the female cinemagoer.
A series of case studies reveal that film and literary media created new identities for women as both the creators and consumers of interwar movie culture, intervening in the way women saw and thought about themselves, and how they navigated the everyday experiences of modernity.
Off to the Pictures thus presents a bold new view of interwar movie culture, read through the creative reflections of the women who experienced it.