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Palgrave Macmillan

The Italian Cinema Book

ISBN 9781844574056
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher British Film Institute

THE ITALIAN CINEMA BOOK is an essential guide to the most important historical, aesthetic and cultural aspects of Italian cinema, from 1895 to the present day. With contributions from 39 leading international scholars, the book is structured around six chronologically organised sections:

THE SILENT ERA (1895–22)
THE BIRTH OF THE TALKIES AND THE FASCIST ERA (1922–45)
POSTWAR CINEMATIC CULTURE (1945–59)
THE GOLDEN AGE OF ITALIAN CINEMA (1960–80)
AN AGE OF CRISIS, TRANSITION AND CONSOLIDATION (1981 TO THE PRESENT)
NEW DIRECTIONS IN CRITICAL APPROACHES TO ITALIAN CINEMA

Acutely aware of the contemporary 'rethinking' of Italian cinema history, Peter Bondanella has brought together a diverse range of essays which represent the cutting edge of Italian film theory and criticism. This provocative collection will provide the film student, scholar or enthusiast with a comprehensive understanding of the major developments in what might be called twentieth-century Italy's greatest and most original art form.

Peter Bondanella is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, Film Studies and Italian at Indiana University, USA. He is the author of many celebrated books on Italian literature and cinema, and former president of the American Association for Italian Studies (1984-87). In 2009, he was inducted into the European Academy for Sciences and the Arts for his contributions to Italian cinema and literature.

Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
General Introduction: Rethinking Italian Cinema; Peter Bondanella
PART I: THE SILENT ERA
Introduction; Peter Bondanella
1. Silent Italian Cinema: An International Story; Giorgio Bertellini
2. The Beginnings of Film Stardom and the Print Media of Divismo; John P. Welle
3. The Diva-Film: Context, Actresses, Issues; Angela Dalle Vacche
4. Italian Silent Film Genres: Comics, Serials, Historical Epics, and Strongmen; Jacqueline Reich
PART II: THE BIRTH OF THE TALKIES AND THE FASCIST ERA
Introduction; Peter Bondanella
5. Fascism and Italian Cinema; David Forgacs
6. Italian 'Matinee Idols' in the Era of the Talkies; Marcia Landy
7. The First 'Comedy, Italian Style': Blasetti, Camerini, and De Sica; Vito Zagarrio
8. Censorship from the Fascist Period to the Present; Guido Bonsaver
PART III: POSTWAR CINEMATIC CULTURE: REALISM AND BEYOND
Introduction; Peter Bondanella
9. Neorealism and Left-Wing Culture; Stephen Gundle
10. Cityscapes and Cinematic Space; Mark Shiel
11. Dislocated Spaces for New Thought: Paths of Nomadic Wandering in Neorealist Film and Literature; Torunn Haaland
12. Seeing Anew: Children in Italian Cinema, 1944 to the Present; Giovanna De Luca
13. Forgotten Sisters: Italian Cinema from the Perspective of Female Friendship; Danielle Hipkins
14. The Maggiorata or 'Sweater Girl' of the 1950s - Mangano, Lollobrigida, Loren; Pauline Small
15. Hollywood and Italy: Industries and Fantasies; Robert S. C. Gordon
PART IV: THE GOLDEN AGE OF ITALIAN CINEMA
Introduction; Peter Bondanella
16. Material Dreams: Costume and Couture Italian Style - From Hollywood on the Tiber to the Italian Screen; Réka Buckley
17. Italian Film Music; M. Thomas Van Order
18. Production Around 1960; Christopher Wagstaff
19. The Muscle-Man Peplum: From Hercules (1958) to Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965); Jon Solomon
20. Mondo cane and the Invention of the 'Shockumentary'; Gino Moliterno
21. Spaghetti Westerns and Their Audience; Flavia Brizio-Skov
22. Chronicles of a Hastened Modernization: The Cynical Eye of the Commedia all'italiana; Rémi Fournier Lanzoni
23. The Political Film; Gaetana Marrone
24. The Giallo and the 'Spaghetti Nightmare' Film; Mikel J. Koven
25. European Co-Productions: the Italian Response to the Hollywood Studio System; Jean A. Gili
26. How the Italians Happened to Cherish and Then to Disdain Their Cinema; Pierre Sorlin
PART V: AN AGE OF CRISIS, TRANSITION, AND CONSOLIDATION
Introduction; Peter Bondanella
27. Scriptwriting, Italian Style: Scriptwriting for Fellini; Gianfranco Angelucci
28. Modern Mob Movies: Twenty Years of Gangsters on the Italian Screen; Dana Renga
29. Screening Terrorism: Cinematic Portrayals of the Italian Armed Struggle; Giancarlo Lombardi
30. Italian Cinema and Holocaust Memory; Millicent Marcus
31. Italian National Cinema: The Cinepanettone; Alan O'Leary
32. Stars and Masculinity in Contemporary Italian Cinema; Catherine O'Rawe
33. Women Behind the Camera: New Horizons in Contemporary Cinema; Flavia Laviosa
PART VI: NEW DIRECTIONS IN CRITICAL APPROACHES TO ITALIAN CINEMA
Introduction; Peter Bondanella
34. Italian Cinema in the Post-National Age; Laura Rascaroli
35. Postcolonial Theory and Italy's 'Multicultural' Cinema; Áine O'Healy
36. Genre Theory and Mario Bava's Cinema; Mary Wood
37. The Unwanted Guest: Some Remarks on Italian Cinema's Love Affair with Psychoanalysis; Fabio Vighi
38. Fellini and Contemporary International Cinema; Peter Bondanella
39. The Heritage of the Past and New Frontiers for the History of the Italian Cinema; Gian Piero Brunetta
Select Bibliography on the Italian Cinema
Index

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Reviews

'An extraordinary celebration of the rich history of Italian film studies, and a vital reference point for students and researchers alike.' - Dom Holdaway, Italian Studies
'A beautifully produced volume. This is a publication that beckons us readers to enter its pages, and we do so eagerly and most willingly. Seeing Peter Bondanella's name as editor on the cover is a sure guarantee of quality, adding to the immediate appeal of the volume. Bondanella is not a scholar who is content to rest on his most deserved laurels; rather, he has always sought to keep up with what passing time brings: new films, new critical and theoretical approaches, new ways of doing film history and history tout court. [This book] is assuredly shaped throughout by Bondanella's deep and wide expertise not only in the choice of the topics covered or the organization of the volume; but also in the thoughtful selection of diverse contributions whose approaches and conclusions create many instances of implicit debate, even dissonance, as to what precisely doing film history, theory and interpretation might in fact mean at this temporal juncture...' - Rebecca West, Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies
'It is not so much the subject matter that is original, but the approach: the spirit of 'rethinking' that informs each of the contributions. The book reflects the current state of scholarship on cinema with references to popular research models and canonical topics in the field. The book is well illustrated by frame shots, photographs, movie posters, and advertisements. It includes a useful extended bibliography of suggested reading at end of book. The collection gives a clear account of the current state of the art, and in some case refocuses debates. In this sense, it is a useful resource for both researchers and students of all levels.' - LSE Review of Books
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