Globalizing National Cinemas: Teaching Cultural Change through Film
Since its beginnings in 1895, cinema has grown and spread globally and is nowadays experiencing renewed popular interest through television and video distribution. As argued by many scholars, cinematic images retain a fundamental role in shaping, influencing, and reflecting contemporary notions of culture and society. At the turn of the 21st century, the production, distribution and reception of films have encountered increasing fluid boundaries and have crossed multiple porous borders. The globalizing nature of the movie industry has relied, in recent years, on international co-productions and distributions facilities, whose cross-national focus encourages critics to question the label of ‘national cinema’ that has for decades been at the center of film studies. Similarly, cinema has always proven to be an optimum medium for the expression of transnational cultural settings, the centrality of which seems to characterize contemporary local cultures worldwide. This paper aims at analyzing the role of world/global cinema courses in the undergraduate curriculum at an international college in light of changing notions of cultural identities and national cinemas. Some of the questions I will discuss are: What conceptual frames could replace the overbearing label of ‘national cinema’? How could a more transnational theoretical lens benefit the understanding of cinema cultures nowadays? How will a course on world/global cinema contribute to the students’ notions of transnational societies?
Michela Ardizzoni (Switzerland)
Visiting Assistant Professor of International Communication
Department of International Communication
Franklin College Switzerland
(Virtual Presentation, English)