HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES is designed as a cross-generational and cross-cultural project. Our team at Leibniz University Hannover continues to grow, as there are a total of four sub-projects dealing with memories of Hollywood movies in Germany, the USA, Mexico, and China. All members of the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES team are dedicated to the research on Hollywood movies, memories, and generations. With this website we would like to inform about our project and motivate as many people as possible to participate in our research.
Our research team
Kathleen Loock is Professor of American Studies and Media Studies at the English Department of Leibniz University Hannover. Her research focuses on U.S. memory culture and various forms of cultural repetition — from monuments and holidays to remakes, sequels, and reboots, as well as seriality in film and television.
Role in the project
Kathleen is the director of the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project and is responsible for the research design. She also conducts the USA sub-project and is concerned with the overarching question of whether Hollywood movies contribute to the construction of global movie generations.
This is what Kathleen says about one of her favorite movies
There are two movies that I can‘t stop watching, if I happen to come across them on television: DIRTY DANCING and PRETTY WOMAN. I just love the music, the actors, and the story of both films. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched these movies by now, but I remember that I first came across PRETTY WOMAN in an open-air cinema in the early 1990s. I was maybe 11 or 12 years old at the time, and I was spending my summer vacation with my family in the Czech Republic, in a small village near Ústí nad Labem. It was one of our first vacations abroad after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first one where we traveled with our own new car (a used Trabbi). One evening I went to the open-air cinema with my older sister and two Czech girls we had made friends with. Lada became my pen pal and we wrote to each other in English for several years before eventually losing touch. The movie was shown in English, with Czech subtitles. I probably didn‘t understand much of the dialogue at the time — but I certainly understood what PRETTY WOMAN was about and I simply enjoyed watching the film on the screen in the warm summer night, immersing myself in the romantic story to the sounds of Roy Orbison and Roxette.
Stefan Dierkes is a research assistant in the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project. He received his Master’s degree in Literature and Media Practice and Anglophone Studies from the University of Essen and is now pursuing his PhD in American Studies at the English Department of Leibniz Universität Hannover as part of the project.
Role in the project
Stefan is responsible for the implementation of the GERMANY sub-project and manages the project’s social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
This is what Stefan says about one of his favorite movies
Since the only movie theater in the rural area I grew up in often played films that failed to interest me, it was mainly television – and TV guides – that shaped my taste in movies during my teenage years. Since the most interesting movies were relegated to nighttime programming, I recorded many movies with the VCR back then.
That changed when we got a new TV and the old set was discarded to my room, which allowed me to watch movies late into the night at minimum volume, for fear of waking my parents. Above all, I remember watching LOST IN TRANSLATION for the first time and being thrilled because the movie was so different from what I had seen before. I especially remember the last scene where Bob whispers something in Charlotte’s ear. Because the TV was turned down so low, I didn’t hear what he said and was annoyed by it because I was sure it would have explained the whole movie to me.
Only much later did I find out that these last sentences were inaudible on purpose. At that time, the scene, including the soundtrack, amazed me and is still for me one of the best examples of the magic of movies.
Alejandra Bulla is a research assistant in the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project. She has a Master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Erlangen and a bachelor’s degree as English teacher from the Universidad Francisco José de Caldas in Bogota, Colombia. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the English Department of Leibniz Universität Hannover as part of the project.
Role in the project
Alejandra is responsible for the Mexico sub-project and helps managing the project’s social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
This is what Alejandra says about one of her favorite movies
One of my favorite movies of all time has to be Mulan. When I was little, my parents bought a VCR, and by then we did not have cable TV, so to entertain ourselves, together with my two sisters, we used to watch the movies we had at home. I remember we did not own many, and the two I remember the most are Mulan and Godzilla, and as a child I was more enticed by cartoons rather than monsters, which lead us to watching and rewatching that movie countlessly. To this day, that is one of my favorite animated movies and I consider it a comfort movie. Back then I am sure I was not aware of how significant that movie was for young girls, who were used to seeing male character as the heroes in movies, especially in Disney and its princess tales. With this movie there is a shift in the romantic approach these movies used to have, as the plot of the movie does not revolve around it, but it also defies this concept of romance and marriage since the beginning, allowing a female character to play a leading role and to have her own agenda to fulfill.
Alissa Lienhard is a student assistant in the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in the interdisciplinary Bachelor with English as first subject and Biology as second subject from Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH). She is currently studying in the Advanced Anglophone Studies master’s program at LUH. Alissa is particularly interested in research related to films, series, science fiction, feminism, and gender/queer studies.
Role in the project
Alissa helps with the collection and analysis of data and with the preparation of events, conferences and workshops. She also maintains the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES web presence on the pages of the English Department at Leibniz Universität Hannover.
This is what Alissa says about one of her most memorable movie experiences
My little brother and I (10 and 12 years old) saw a trailer for Tron: Legacy in 2010 and wanted to go to the movies right away. However, our father insisted on watching the 1982 “original film” with us beforehand. And because that took longer, the movie wasn’t playing in Hannover when we were finally ready. So the three of us took the regional express from Hanover to Bremen, just to see Tron Legacy in the cinema there. That was one of the best family trips my father ever took us on.
Lida Shams-Mostofi is a student assistant in the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in the interdisciplinary Bachelor’s program “Lehramt an Gymnasien” with English as first subject and History as second subject from Leibniz Universität Hannover. Currently, she is studying in the Master’s program Advanced Anglophone Studies and English and History at the Gymnasium level at LUH. Lida is particularly interested in research in the fields of Critical Race, Intersectional and Trauma Studies with a special focus on their representation in pop cultural films and series.
Role in the project
As a student assistant, Lida assists the work of Prof. Dr. Kathleen Loock. This includes, among other things, support in the creation of the questionnaire for the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project, the preparation and implementation of conferences or the web presence within Leibniz University.
This is what Lida says about one of her movie experiences:
To this day, I can’t watch movies that are scary. As a child, however, my tolerance for what I considered “horror” was enormously low. I remember going to the movies with my father, at my request, to see Inkheart. I must have been 11. Although I was really looking forward to the movie, a few minutes after it started, I asked my father to take me out again because the movie was too scary for me. I think the mythical creatures had scared me. So we went again. A week later, we took my school class on a trip to the movies, which we were all looking forward to, of course. My joy ended quickly, though, because we went to see Inkheart… Even before it started, I was panicked, but I was too embarrassed to say so in front of the others. So I sat obediently in the cinema and squeezed my eyes shut inconspicuously during the opening scenes, which had already frightened me the last time. After I dared to look again normally, but I was very captivated by the plot and liked the film very much. Some scenes I found creepy even there, but in the end I was very proud of myself for having survived and even liked the film.
Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
Brunella Tedesco-Barlocco is currently writing her Ph.D. thesis on reboots, requels and revivals at Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona, Spain. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from ORT University (Montevideo, Uruguay), and an M.A. in Contemporary Film and Audiovisual Studies from Pompeu Fabra University. She is a doctoral fellow at the Communication Department, a member of the CINEMA Research Group of Pompeu Fabra University, and an editorial assistant of the academic journal Comparative Cinema. She has published articles in Adaptation, Communication & Society and El profesional de la información.
In November and December 2021, Brunella was on a research stay at the English Department of Leibniz University Hannover, with Prof. Dr. Kathleen Loock as her mentor.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, US
Jonathan Gray is Hamel Family Distinguished Chair in Communication Arts and Professor Media and Cultural Studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison. His research interests generally focus on the points of contact between texts and audiences, and hence on lived textualities and on audience reception. Recent books include Dislike-Minded: Media, Audiences, and the Dynamics of Taste and Television Goes to the Movies (with Derek Johnson). He also edits International Journal of Cultural Studies, NYU Press’ Critical Cultural Communication series, and is an International Communication Association Fellow.
Queen Mary University, London, UK (Emeritus)
Annette Kuhn is Emeritus Professor in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London, a Member of the European Academy, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She writes on film history, and on cultural memory in relation to photography and cinema. As Director of Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain and Co-Investigator of Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive – 1930s Britain & Beyond (lancaster.ac.uk) she has devoted several decades to investigating how audiences relate to and remember their past cinemagoing, introducing the concept of ‘cinema memory’ into the field.
Zurich University, Zurich, Switzerland
Christine Hämmerling, Dr., is a Senior Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, Zurich University (since 2014). Her main research interests are social movements, trust and professionalization, trade and gift giving, ego documents (Das dokumentierte Ich, 2018), popular taste, reception of popular media & media theory (Sonntags, 20.15 Uhr: Tatort, 2016), the anthropology of space (Wissensmedien des Raums, 2020), cultural theory, and qualitative methods.
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Eduard Cuelenaere holds a doctoral degree (PhD) in Communication Sciences (Ghent University) and in Theatre Studies and Intermediality (University of Antwerp). His research interests centre around the study of serialities (film remakes, reboots, sequels, …), transnational cinema, European (popular) cinema, and international communication. He has particular research expertise in Dutch-Flemish film remakes, Dutch and Belgian cinema, as well as in the relation between film and national identity.
University of Reading, Reading, UK
Catherine Grant is Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Reading, UK. From September 2022, she will be Honorary Professor at Aarhus Universitet, Denmark. She carries out her film and moving image studies research mostly in the form of remix-based video essays. She also runs the Film Studies For Free social media platforms, and is a founding co-editor of the award-winning peer-reviewed journal [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.
Register now to participate in the HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES project!
You want to be part of the project and share your memories of Hollywood movies with us? Then register here to participate. We will let you know when the questionnaire is launched on our digital research platform.