Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media


For a Cosmopolitan Cinema


James Mulvey, Laura Rascaroli, and Humberto Saldanha


Abstract: The recent cosmopolitan turn in film studies has coincided with the emergence of a new set of valuable theoretical perspectives. Compared to other disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, cinema has been relatively slow to adopt cosmopolitanism as a critical tool. Dimitris Eleftheriotis suggests that this delay is paradoxically due to the self-evident nature of cinema as a cosmopolitan medium, as films and cinematic culture offer privileged entry points into the various debates that surround the idea of cosmopolitanism (“Cosmopolitanism”). The circulation of films through different nations, localities and platforms displays a plurality of imagined forms of being, as well as forging cultural encounters between others (Chan, “Backstage/Onstage”). For Eleftheriotis, the cosmopolitan aspect of cinema becomes evident at three levels: firstly, in the presence of “multi-ethnic groups of creative personnel”; secondly, through the utilisation of “transnational channels of marketing, distribution and exhibition”; and thirdly, through “stories, characters and settings, in its presentation of relationships between strangers, in its articulation of difference” (“Cosmopolitanism” 203).

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