Eastern Approaches to Western Film
by Stephen Teo
Eastern Approaches to Western Film: Asian Aesthetics and Reception in Cinema offers a renewed critical outlook on Western classic film directly from the pantheon of European and American masters, including Alfred Hitchcock, George Lucas, Robert Bresson, Carl Dreyer, Jean-Pierre Melville, John Ford, Leo McCarey, Sam Peckinpah, and Orson Welles. The book contributes an “Eastern Approach” into the critical studies of Western films by reappraising selected films of these masters, matching and comparing their visions, themes, and ideas with the philosophical and paradigmatic principles of the East. It traces Eastern inscriptions and signs embedded within these films as well as their social lifestyle values and other concepts that are also inherently Eastern. As such, the book represents an effort to reformulate established discourses on Western cinema that are overwhelmingly Eurocentric. Although it seeks to inject an alternative perspective, the ultimate aim is to reach a balance of East and West. By focusing on Eastern aesthetic and philosophical influences in Western films, the book suggests that there is a much more thorough integration of East and West than previously thought or imagined.