This paper argues for the political urgency of the project of World Cinema, and an understanding of World Cinema as a dynamic totality. Totality here is not a generic, macroscopic lens, but a system that accounts for the co-existence of all cinemas as well as the uneven power relationships that determine the relative visibility or invisibility of cinemas in the global system. This structural inequity, a condition that underlies the differentiated cinematic flows, is also a methodological ruse in that it can only point to unequal relationships in discourses that define the current conceptions of World Cinema. An awareness of totality, we argue, makes it possible to return to films themselves as nodal points from which to begin the mapping of World Cinema through its complex networks of financing, distribution, and its circuits of legitimation (film festivals, academic discourses) which shape world cinema as a body of knowledge.
Studies in World Cinema: A Critical Journal offers a platform to examine, rethink and reinvent the notion of “world cinema”. What do we understand by “world cinema”, and how useful or enabling is this term? Taking the world as a space of signification in which we continually reproduce its meanings, this journal opens up inquiries about films and cinematic practices that engender novel senses of the world.
The journal welcomes research on traveling cinematic tropes, transnational practices, remakes and adaptations, translation cultures, migrant and diasporic films and film cultures, postcolonial and accented cinemas, collaborations and exchanges among filmmakers, co-productions and multinational filmmaking practices and networks, early cinematic practices, and other time-based media and screen productions such as television series, web series, and video installations. Together we aim to develop a fruitful and more enriching understanding of our world cinema.