The introduction sets out the rationale of the book and you can read the first five pages on the Routledge website.
If you are wondering what I mean by ‘global film’, here’s a short extract from the Introduction:
. . . why call this The Global Film Book? At the simplest level, global is used here to refer to all forms of film culture wherever they are found. We are interested in how these different film forms produce meaning in different cultural contexts and how filmmaking is possible (or not) in different parts of the world. In doing so we will encounter all the other approaches [i.e. ‘world cinema’, ‘transnational cinema’ etc.] and perhaps suggest why a single approach is likely to be lacking in some way. In Theorizing World Cinema (2012) Lúcia Nagib, Chris Perriam and Rajinder Dudrah introduce many interesting and useful ideas in an attempt to escape from the negative effect of binarisms – the concept of simple oppositions to explain complex relationships. The most obvious of these is Hollywood vs the Rest of the World, which can lead in turn to ‘us’ and ‘them’ or ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’. As they point out:
In multicultural, multi-ethnic societies like ours, cinematic expressions from various origins cannot be seen as ‘the other’, for the simple reason that they are us. More interesting than their difference is, in most cases, their interconnectedness. (Nagib et al, 2012: xxiii)
This statement follows a move away from a eurocentric approach to films and film theory credited to the impact of the pioneering work of Ella Shohat and Robert Stam and their 1994 book Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. Shohat and Stam argued that scholars needed to think their way out of a situation in which knowledge and theoretical work had developed in the context of colonialist systems with their assumptions of control over other cultures. The Global Film Book endorses and hopes to contribute to a move towards what Nagib et al have termed polycentrism in film studies. This means that we will recognise that there are many starting points for discussing film culture and many different ‘flows’ of films between different parts of the world. We won’t find it easy to try to understand how these flows operate or how films might create different kinds of meanings in different cultural contexts, but in making an attempt we will both enrich our own film culture and make ourselves more open to others.