Cosmopolitanism, Empathy and the Close-Up

Authored by: Dimitris Eleftheriotis

The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Politics

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415717397
eBook ISBN: 9781315678863
Adobe ISBN: 9781317392460


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Increasingly film studies turns to cosmopolitanism as a conceptual framework for the study of cinema in its full international dimensions. Monographs and articles that explore various aspects of film and cosmopolitanism (e.g. Nava 2007; Schwartz 2007; Loshitzky 2010; Bergfelder 2011; Eleftheriotis 2012; Stacey 2014) are appearing with accelerating regularity and in 2012 Screen themed its annual conference on cosmopolitanism. If anything, such engagement is only surprising in its belatedness, in the noticeable delay in engaging with a term that has been central to other disciplines since the 1990s. Paradoxically this might well be because film is a profoundly cosmopolitan medium. As cultural product and commodity it encounters multiple cultures in its circulation, depends on multi-ethnic groups of creative personnel and utilises transnational channels of marketing, distribution and exhibition. But it is also cosmopolitan in its form, stories, characters and settings, in its presentation of relationships between strangers, in its articulation of difference.

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