The incorporation of oral history methodology into film and entertainment historiography has brought more complex and original perspectives. Among them, inquiries on taste and consumption are leading to a reformulation of notions such as popularity and success and to new frameworks to study the relationship between film and society. This paper delves into these subjects by focusing on the role played by genre narratives in classical cinema. We take into account Rick Altman’s proposal about the dynamic character of genres and Annette Kuhn’s works on cultural memory in order to look into Buenos Aires’ film spectators in the 1940s and 1950s. By taking into consideration a group of interviews with senior citizens, we study film genres’ impact on their consumer habits and their relations with their environment.
Movie audiences, classical cinema, film genres, modernity, social imaginaries.