The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era

What’s this blog for?

Our aim is to create a community of users interested in the education opportunities associated with global film. That’s international film, but with an emphasis away from Hollywood. There are more than enough websites and blogs dealing with contemporary mainstream Hollywood. This one will focus on what the rest of global film culture has to offer and it will roam across film history as well. It’s intended to be a film education orientated site, so we hope it will have something to offer to both teachers and students as well as film fans of all kinds. We are based in the UK, but very much looking outwards and interested in other countries.

The Case for Global Film

The blog’s title represents a central argument that we want to set up and explore. Our basic premise is that the whole concept of film as an artistic, industrial and cultural phenomenon has developed through a specific history and seen the emergence of a group of widely used assumptions. For instance, Hollywood dominance for long periods has seen other forms of cinema routinely discussed as ‘alternative’ to the Hollywood mainstream or ‘norm’. Associated with this in complicated ways is the emergence of ‘World Cinema’ as a concept – one that is offensive (or irrelevant) to many practitioners, scholars and audiences. Left out of debate altogether are the popular films in different languages that don’t get a release outside their own language groups. We need new terms and new ideas about how all forms of cinema contribute to ‘global film culture’. That’s what we want to explore. There are some book reviews on the blog that help to expand this explanation. Have a look at:

Contemporary European Cinema

Approaches to Global Cinema

This is an ever-evolving project and we’re happy to hear from anyone else who is interested and would like to contribute. Leave a comment here.

16 thoughts on “What’s this blog for?

  1. Good initiative. Came to know of this blog through
    Please have a RSS feed as it makes it so much easier to follow up on new posts.


  2. Thanks for your support. I’ll try to add the RSS facility, but bear with me, I’m new at RSS.


  3. That sounds like a good idea, Dina. The link is on the right under ‘film academics and bloggers’.


  4. Hey!

    This is a great website! We love the idea!
    We’re driven by a similar vision, and have started a club called the Culturazzi Club . The club strives to bring people in arts, cinema, literature, music and theater across the world together on a common platform, where they can share their thoughts, opinions, and interact with each other.
    We’re off everything that is mainstream Hollywood too. Foreign films, World literature, Theater are some of the few things we pursue.

    We’d love to you all check out our website and participate in discussions. We love useful feedback as well :)

    Hope you enjoy :)


  5. Thanks Samakshi.

    The Culturazzi site looks great and it’s good to see that there are plenty of us with a global outlook. You all seem to be based in India? It would be good to exchange ideas and I’ll try to post some comments on your site. I’ll add your site to the blogroll on here.


  6. Great reviews and some interesting titles here, several of which I didn’t know. I’m going to enjoy exploring the site more.

    I am continuing to pursue the aim of getting more foreign language film for children (ie under 12’s)into the UK, which I first mooted some years ago when I was at the BFI, but which I am now working on independently under the title “Window on the World”.

    The initial aim is to get such films into DVD distribution, but the ultimate aim is that by building interest both through schools (via Extended Services) and families (via commercial sales), distributors’ reluctance will diminish and they will start to take more chances on theatrical distribution as well. Film Club seem keen to support this, Soda Pictures are hoping to be able to lead on releasing selected titles, and ContinYou (who manage content development for Extended Services) are keen to collaborate.

    I believe that a major deterrent is adults’ scepticism about children’s willingness to watch foreign films and to read subtitles. I am therefore planning to organise a number of events over 2008-9, each of which would involve a screening for primary school children to which local and regional Extended Services directors and cluster managers would be invited, followed by a drinks reception for these invited guests with a short discussion about the importance and viability of world cinema for children. I have funding agreed in principle, and need to get more precise costs to my funder in early Sept.

    The films screened would have to be ones already also available on DVD in this country, and sure-fire winners with child audiences so it’s a very limited list, eg Kirikou, The Princes’ Quest, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, and The White Balloon (other suggestions welcome). The screenings would need to be after school, ie at 3.30/4.00, and the reception would be for an hour after the end of the film, and would be likely to involve around 10 – 15 people. The aim would be to develop confidence and interest in thic concept, amongst the Extended Services sector.

    I am currently contacting some independent cinemas to find out whether they would be interested in hosting one of these events – four positive replies so far.

    Any other comments and suggestions would be very welcome.


  7. Thanks for your support Cary. We are definitely with you in trying to encourage screenings of subtitled films for younger children. I’ve added a new category ‘Films for children’ (happy to change to a better title — any suggestions?) and tagged a couple of films. The real problem is finding a UK DVD distributor. We are happy to carry a review or background material on specific titles.


  8. any chance you might link to it’s a film review website which covers a very wide range of film from all over the world (including James Benning, James Cameron, James Lee, James Marsh, James Gray, and other folk not named James), with over 2,500 reviews of new and old films (mostly by me!) written since January 2000.


  9. You write “We need new terms and new ideas about how all forms of cinema contribute to ‘global film culture’. That’s what we want to explore.” Well, first, let’s consider the notion of the Cosmos or Universe as a Cinema. Furthermore, lets consider the notion of the Director of this Cosmos as being none other than God. His audience seems to me would therefore be all mankind. Now, let us ask what would be God’s INTENTION in producing and directing such a Film? I propose “Intention” or “Intention of Cinema” as a new term to help our understanding of the Films of the World. Not least for the films that explore the mystery of Destiny…


    1. I would certainly agree that religious belief has an impact on global and local film culture, but I’ve always found ‘intentionality’ to be a tricky concept. Films are produced in a specific context and received differently by different audiences. Finding out about a filmmaker’s intentions might be interesting but it doesn’t necessarily determine how the film will be understood.


    1. I’m happy that the link to your site appears here but the links in the sidebar are for more industry or education-related film studies blogs so it wouldn’t be as appropriate there. Good luck with your site!


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