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World Cinema through Global Genres

ISBN: 978-1-118-71291-7
456 pages
January 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
World Cinema through Global Genres (1118712919) cover image


World Cinema through Global Genres introduces the complex forces of global filmmaking using the popular concept of film genre. The cluster-based organization allows students to acquire a clear understanding of core issues that apply to all films around the world.

  • Innovative pedagogical approach that uses genres to teach the more unfamiliar subject of world cinema
  • A cluster-based organization provides a solid framework for students to acquire a sharper understanding of core issues that apply to all films around the world
  • A “deep focus” section in each chapter gives students information and insights about important regions of filmmaking (India, China, Japan, and Latin America) that tend to be underrepresented in world cinema classes
  • Case studies allow students to focus on important and accessible individual films that exemplify significant traditions and trends
  • A strong foundation chapter reviews key concepts and vocabulary for understanding film as an art form, a technology, a business, an index of culture, a social barometer, and a political force.
  • The engaging style and organization of the book make it a compelling text for both world cinema and film genre courses
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

How to Use This Book xv

Introduction 1


Chapter 1: The Warrior Hero 45

Deep Focus on Chinese Cinemas 79

Close-up: The Magnificent Seven 100

Close-up: Seven Samurai 106

Close-up: Sholay 113

Close-up: Way of the Dragon 118


Chapter 2: The Wedding Film 127

Deep Focus on Indian Cinemas 159

Close-up: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 181

Close-up: Monsoon Wedding 187

Close-up: The Wedding Banquet 192

Close-up: Wedding in Galilee 197


Chapter 3: The Horror Film 205

Deep Focus on Japanese Cinemas 254

Close-up: Halloween 270

Close-up: Suspiria 276

Close-up: The Devil’s Backbone 282

Close-up: Ring 287


Chapter 4: The Road Movie 295

Deep Focus on Latin American Cinemas 335

Close-up: Thelma & Louise 368

Close-up: La Strada 374

Close-up: Breathless 379

Close-up: The Motorcycle Diaries 386

Glossary 392

Index 406

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Author Information

William Costanzo is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of English and Film at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, where he teaches courses in writing, literature, and film studies. Dr. Costanzo has previously published five books on film, writing, and computers, including Reading the Movies (1992), Great Films and How to Teach Them (2004) and The Writer’s Eye (2008). He currently serves on the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Teaching Committee.

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"A wonderful textbook as well as a scholarly tour-de-force.  Costanzo brings new meaning to the concept of global genres and offers up examples that convincingly demonstrate cinematic border crossings and cultural connections amongst far-flung places."
David Desser, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, USA

"Costanzo revitalizes both world cinema and genre studies with his stimulating, insightful cross cultural approach to warrior heroes, wedding films, horror and road movies. It's a well-written, scholarly work that's as inventive as it is enjoyable."
Diane Carson, Past President, University Film and Video Assn (UFVA)

"William Costanzo has cut the clearest path yet through the forest of World Cinema. Key genres take us confidently place to place, era to era; while maps, timelines, and surveys of national industries position a rich array of films, many analyzed with real mastery."
Dudley Andrew, Professor of Film and Comparative Literature, Yale University, USA

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