This groundbreaking and innovative book is about the place of World Cinema in the cultural imaginary. It also repositions World Cinema in a wider discursive space than is usually the case and treats it as an object of theoretical enquiry, rather than as a commercial label. The editors and distinguished group of contributors, including Laura Mulvey, John Caughie, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, and Paul Julian Smith, offer a range of approaches and case studies whose organizing principle is the developing idea of polycentrism as applied to cinema. They refine and redefine key concepts in film studies, including identification, representation and identity, narrative and realism, allegory and the national project, auteurism and the popular, art and genre. They re-evaluate how cinema shapes and responds to the philosophical, cultural, and political effects of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism in the age of the moving image, and explore the interconnectedness of films produced worldwide, as well as the links between cinema and other visual cultural forms.