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Italian Locations

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Italian Locations

Reinhabiting the Past in Postwar Cinema



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Italian Locations by Noa Steimatsky
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Fascism and the Second World War left Italy indelibly changed, and cinema was arguably the art that most rigorously confronted the devastated nation. In this examination of four Italian filmmakers, Noa Steimatsky brilliantly maps their forceful negotiation of Italy\u2019s identity and posits that the cinematic forms they employ constitute an imaginary reinhabiting of Italy-one that is inextricably linked with the political, physical, and symbolic predicament of reconstruction. A dynamic intersection of pictorial and photographic, architectural and literary discourses inform Steimatsky\u2019s revisionist interrogation of exemplary works from the 1940s to the mid-1960s. From the earliest documentary work of Michelangelo Antonioni on the River Po to Pier Paolo Pasolini\u2019s re-siting of the Gospel in the arid, peripheral landscape of the Italian south, and from Roberto Rossellini\u2019s tracing of a neorealist project in ruinous Berlin to Luchino Visconti\u2019s wrought grandeur visited upon a humble Sicilian fishing village, Italian Locations probes the historical experience of displacement, anachronism, and a thoroughly contemporary anxiety in the cinematic arena. For Steimatsky, Antonioni\u2019s modernist achievement, informed by his native landscape, Rossellini\u2019s neorealist image of Italy as a nation of ruins, Visconti\u2019s reaching back to the nineteenth century and even more archaic pasts, and Pasolini\u2019s ambivalence about modernity-all partake in a search for a politically and culturally redeemed Italy. Noa Steimatsky is associate professor of the history of art and film studies at Yale University.
Release date Australia
February 1st, 2008
Country of Publication
United States
University of Minnesota Press
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