While many studies have been written on national cinemas, Early Cinema and the "National" is the first anthology to focus on the concept of national film culture from a wide methodological spectrum of interests, including not only visual and narrative forms, but also international geopolitics, exhibition and marketing practices, and pressing linkages to national imageries. The essays in this richly illustrated, landmark anthology are devoted to reconsidering the nation as a framing category for writing cinema history. Many of the 34 contributors show that concepts of a national identity played a role in establishing the parameters of cinema's early development, from technological change to discourses of stardom, from emerging genres to intertitling practices. Yet, as others attest, national meanings could often become knotty in other contexts, when concepts of nationhood were contested in relation to colonial/imperial histories and regional configurations. Early Cinema and the "National" takes stock of a formative moment in cinema history, tracing the beginnings of the process whereby nations learned to imagine themselves through moving images.