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The dollars are coming!

While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.

Valentina Vitali

blocs and the relations of force between them) were not the same. To my knowledge, the best tools proposed to date to lend systematicity to the approach I have adopted here  – to examine how such home factors worked themselves into the film-text according to a process (a set of priorities) that was occurring also elsewhere (where, however, it worked with other material), resulting in particular film aesthetics – were proposed by Paul Willemen (2010) in an essay on comparative film studies. Arguing that a truly comparative approach to cinema is the only one likely to

in Capital and popular cinema