Volume 2, Issue 1 (2013)
Introduction to World Cinema
In this issue of Cinesthesia, we offer a sampling of the array of critical approaches scholars bring to the study of cinematic traditions from around the world. The essays examine the richness and complexity of global cinema through the frames of feminism, art history and philosophy, among others.
The college experience is enhanced when students spend time abroad to study another language and attain some knowledge that, though hard to define, might be described as intercultural understanding. Students learn that to spend time in a foreign country gives them a greater understanding of its peoples, traditions, and customs. We believe that to study the cinema of a country or region is to take up a similar project—that is, to engage a culture, an aesthetic, a way of seeing in order to gain insights about it. We also learn more about ourselves and our own culture when we shift our perspective to look through the lens of other traditions.
The study of world cinema is not simply the examination of a foreign aesthetic or a foreign art form; rather, the study of world cinema emphasizes the common patterns of cinema’s global development as well as the importance of international and intercultural understanding. Such a project engages the unfamiliar or the foreign on its own terms; as Dudley Andrew notes, “Any study of World Cinema should be ready to travel more than to oversee, should put students inside unfamiliar conditions of viewing rather than bringing the unfamiliar handily to them” (9).
With Andrew’s conception in mind, we have published work by four authors—Blake, McEneaney, Channess, and Wheeler—who have made the study of cinema an essential part of their encounter with other cultures. In all, they reflect the understanding that a work of art represents much more than a single, autonomous artistic vision—it is also the product of a culture.
Andrew, Dudley. “An Atlas of World Cinema.” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media. 45.2 (2004): 9-24. Web. 20 April 2013.
- Joe Hogan, Grand Valley State University
- Editorial Board
- Nikki Martin, Grand Valley State University
- Travis Wheeler, Grand Valley State University
- Faculty Advisor
- Toni Perrine, Grand Valley State University