Dimitris Eleftheriotis is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Glasgow and an
editor of Screen and of the Journal of Greek Media and Culture. His publications include Popular Cinemas of Europe: Studies of Texts, Contexts and Frameworks (2001), Asian Cinemas: A Reader and Guide (2006) and Cinematic Journeys: Film and Movement (2010). He has published extensively on various aspects of film theory and history. He is currently writing a monograph titled Film and Cosmopolitanism.
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(Writer’s note: The following piece is a paper presented in December 2004 at the conference L’Odyssée du Cinéma organised by the Centre Culturel Hellénique and L’Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. It attempted to examine the usefulness and challenges presented by Anglo-American film theory for the study of Greek cinema. In the ten years that followed, developments both in the production of Greek films and in academic scholarship have rendered several of the points raised below problematic or even irrelevant. Other points nevertheless remain pertinent and the paper – presented in its original form with no alterations or revisions – might offer some insights in the dynamic developments in the field of Greek film studies over the last ten years).
This paper is very much motivated by personal experience. My institutional position at the University of Glasgow involves a close and continuous engagement with Anglo-American film: that is what I teach and that is what I write about; my on-going interest in Greek cinema is very much marginal – my publications on Greek cinema are minimal and I do not teach Greek cinema at any point. This is admittedly a frustrating state of affairs necessitated by institutional politics, canonical hegemonies but also by the difficult interface between Anglo-American film theory as a theoretical framework and Greek cinema as an object of study. This paper will attempt to move beyond difficulties and frustration and propose some of the ways in which the two can exist in a more creative and harmonious way. ... More