Description : Giorgio Bertellini traces the origins of American cinema's century-long fascination with Italy and Italian immigrants to the popularity of the pre-photographic aesthetic—the picturesque. Once associated with landscape painting in northern Europe, the picturesque came to symbolize Mediterranean Europe through comforting views of distant landscapes and exotic characters. Taking its cue from a picturesque stage backdrop from The Godfather Part II, Italy in Early American Cinema shows how this aesthetic was transferred from 19th-century American painters to early 20th-century American filmmakers. Italy in Early American Cinema offers readings of early films that pay close attention to how landscape representations that were related to narrative settings and filmmaking locations conveyed distinct ideas about racial difference and national destiny.
Description : Italian film star Bartolomeo Pagano's "Maciste" played a key role in his nation’s narratives of identity during World War I and after. Jacqueline Reich traces the racial, class, and national transformations undergone by this Italian strongman from African slave in Cabiria (1914), his first film, to bourgeois gentleman, to Alpine soldier of the Great War, to colonial officer in Italy's African adventures. Reich reveals Maciste as a figure who both reflected classical ideals of masculine beauty and virility (later taken up by Mussolini and used for political purposes) and embodied the model Italian citizen. The 12 films at the center of the book, recently restored and newly accessible to a wider public, together with relevant extra-cinematic materials, provide a rich resource for understanding the spread of discourses on masculinity, and national and racial identities during a turbulent period in Italian history. The volume includes an illustrated appendix documenting the restoration and preservation of these cinematic treasures.
Description : Cosmopolitan Film Cultures in Latin America examines how cinema forged cultural connections between Latin American publics and film-exporting nations in the first half of the twentieth century. Predating today’s transnational media industries by several decades, these connections were defined by active economic and cultural exchanges, as well as longstanding inequalities in political power and cultural capital. The essays explore the arrival and expansion of cinema throughout the region, from the first screenings of the Lumière Cinématographe in 1896 to the emergence of new forms of cinephilia and cult spectatorship in the 1940s and beyond. Examining these transnational exchanges through the lens of the cosmopolitan, which emphasizes the ethical and political dimensions of cultural consumption, illuminates the role played by moving images in negotiating between the local, national, and global, and between the popular and the elite in twentieth-century Latin America. In addition, primary historical documents provide vivid accounts of Latin American film critics, movie audiences, and film industry workers’ experiences with moving images produced elsewhere, encounters that were deeply rooted in the local context, yet also opened out onto global horizons.
Description : How do immigrants and their children forge their identities in a new land—and how does the ethnic culture they create thrive in the larger society? Making Italian America brings together new scholarship on the cultural history of consumption, immigration, and ethnic marketing to explore these questions by focusing on the case of an ethnic group whose material culture and lifestyles have been central to American life: Italian Americans. As embodied in fashion, film, food, popular music, sports, and many other representations and commodities, Italian American identities have profoundly fascinated, disturbed, and influenced American and global culture. Discussing in fresh ways topics as diverse as immigrant women’s fashion, critiques of consumerism in Italian immigrant radicalism, the Italian American influence in early rock ’n’ roll, ethnic tourism in Little Italy, and Guido subculture, Making Italian America recasts Italian immigrants and their children as active consumers who, since the turn of the twentieth century, have creatively managed to articulate relations of race, gender, and class and create distinctive lifestyles out of materials the marketplace offered to them. The success of these mostly working-class people in making their everyday culture meaningful to them as well as in shaping an ethnic identity that appealed to a wider public of shoppers and spectators looms large in the political history of consumption. Making Italian America appraises how immigrants and their children redesigned the market to suit their tastes and in the process made Italian American identities a lure for millions of consumers. Fourteen essays explore Italian American history in the light of consumer culture, across more than a century-long intense movement of people, goods, money, ideas, and images between Italy and the United States—a diasporic exchange that has transformed both nations. Simone Cinotto builds an imaginative analytical framework for understanding the ways in which ethnic and racial groups have shaped their collective identities and negotiated their place in the consumers’ emporium and marketplace. Grounded in the new scholarship in transnational U.S. history and the transfer of cultural patterns, Making Italian America illuminates the crucial role that consumption has had in shaping the ethnic culture and diasporic identities of Italians in America. It also illustrates vividly why and how those same identities—incorporated in commodities, commercial leisure, and popular representations—have become the object of desire for millions of American and global consumers.
Description : Tracks the influence of Italian cinema on American film from the postwar period to the present. In The Transatlantic Gaze, Mary Ann McDonald Carolan documents the sustained and profound artistic impact of Italian directors, actors, and screenwriters on American film. Working across a variety of genres, including neorealism, comedy, the Western, and the art film, Carolan explores how and why American directors from Woody Allen to Quentin Tarantino have adapted certain Italian trademark techniques and motifs. Allen’s To Rome with Love (2012), for example, is an homage to the genius of Italian filmmakers, and to Federico Fellini in particular, whose Lo sceicco bianco/The White Sheik (1952) also resonates with Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) as well as with Neil LaBute’s Nurse Betty (2000). Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga (2003, 2004) plays off elements of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western C’era una volta il West/Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), a transatlantic conversation about the Western that continues in Tarantino’s Oscar-winning Django Unchained (2012). Lee Daniels’s Precious (2009) and Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna (2008), meanwhile, demonstrate that the neorealism of Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica, which arose from the political and economic exigencies of postwar Italy, is an effective vehicle for critiquing social issues such as poverty and racism in a contemporary American context. The book concludes with an examination of American remakes of popular Italian films, a comparison that offers insight into the similarities and differences between the two cultures and the transformations in genre, both subtle and obvious, that underlie this form of cross-cultural exchange.
Description : A Companion to Martin Scorsese is a comprehensive collection of original essays assessing the career of one of America’s most prominent contemporary filmmakers. Contains contributions from prominent scholars in North America and Europe that use a variety of analytic approaches Offers fresh interpretations of some of Scorsese’s most influential films, including Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, and Hugo Considers Scorsese's place within the history of American and world cinema; his work in relation to auteur theory; the use of popular music and various themes such as violence, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, and race in his films, and more
Description : At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. In the post–World War I American climate of isolationism, nativism, democratic expansion of civic rights, and consumerism, Italian-born star Rodolfo Valentino and Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini became surprising paragons of authoritarian male power and mass appeal. Drawing on extensive archival research in the United States and Italy, Giorgio Bertellini’s work shows how their popularity, both political and erotic, largely depended on the efforts of public opinion managers, including publicists, journalists, and even ambassadors. Beyond the democratic celebrations of the Jazz Age, the promotion of their charismatic masculinity through spectacle and press coverage inaugurated the now-familiar convergence of popular celebrity and political authority. This is the first volume in the new Cinema Cultures in Contact series, coedited by Giorgio Bertellini, Richard Abel, and Matthew Solomon.
Description : The Historical Dictionary of South American Cinema covers the long history of cinema in Portuguese-speaking Brazil and the nine Spanish-speaking countries. These films include Los tres berretines, Prisioneros de la tierra, La balandra Isabel llegó esta tarde, La hora de los hornos, El chacal de Nahueltoro, La teta asustada, Abrir puertas y ventanas, El secreto de sus ojos, and NO. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced dictionary entries on directors, producers, performers, films, film studios and genres. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the South American Cinema.
Description : Probably no decade saw as many changes in the Hollywood film industry and its product as the 1930s did. At the beginning of the decade, the industry was still struggling with the transition to talking pictures. Gangster films and naughty comedies starring Mae West were popular in urban areas, but aroused threats of censorship in the heartland. Whether the film business could survive the economic effects of the Crash was up in the air. By 1939, popularly called "Hollywood's Greatest Year," films like Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz used both color and sound to spectacular effect, and remain American icons today. The "mature oligopoly" that was the studio system had not only weathered the Depression and become part of mainstream culture through the establishment and enforcement of the Production Code, it was a well-oiled, vertically integrated industrial powerhouse. The ten original essays in American Cinema of the 1930s focus on sixty diverse films of the decade, including Dracula, The Public Enemy, Trouble in Paradise, 42nd Street, King Kong, Imitation of Life, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Swing Time, Angels with Dirty Faces, Nothing Sacred, Jezebel, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Stagecoach .
Description : This cutting-edge collection features original essays by eminent scholars on one of cinema's most dynamic and enduringly popular genres, covering everything from the history of horror movies to the latest critical approaches. Contributors include many of the finest academics working in the field, as well as exciting younger scholars Varied and comprehensive coverage, from the history of horror to broader issues of censorship, gender, and sexuality Covers both English-language and non-English horror film traditions Key topics include horror film aesthetics, theoretical approaches, distribution, art house cinema, ethnographic surrealism, and horror's relation to documentary film practice A thorough treatment of this dynamic film genre suited to scholars and enthusiasts alike