A critical engagement with cinema in Italy, this book examines the national archive of film based on sound and listening using a holistic audio-visual approach. Sisto shifts the sensory paradigm of film history and analysis from the optical to the sonic, demonstrating how this translates into a shift of canonical narratives and interpretations.
This study considers Italian filmmaking during the Fascist era and offers an original and revealing approach to the interwar years. Steven Ricci directly confronts a long-standing dilemma faced by cultural historians: while made during a period of totalitarian government, these films are neither propagandistic nor openly "Fascist." Instead, the Italian Fascist regime attempted to build ideological consensus by erasing markers of class and regional difference and by circulating terms for an imaginary national identity. Cinema and Fascism investigates the complex relationship between the totalitarian regime and Italian cinema. It looks at the films themselves, the industry, and the role of cinema in daily life, and offers new insights into this important but neglected period in cinema history.
From neorealism's resolve to Berlusconian revisionist melodramas, this book examines cinema's role in constructing memories of Fascist Italy. Italian cinema has both reflected and shaped popular perceptions of Fascism, reinforcing or challenging stereotypes, remembering selectively and silently forgetting the most shameful pages of Italy's history.
Focused on the period from the start of sound cinema to the final end of Fascism in 1945, this book examines the development of an Italian star system and evaluates its place in film production and distribution. The performances and careers of several major stars are closely analyzed in terms of their relationships to the political sphere and broader commercial culture, with consideration of their fates in the aftermath of Fascism.
Also available in electronic format. English translation of La cultura fascista, first published in 2000 (Bologna, Italy: Il mulino). The most important recent discussion of how Italian Fascist culture encountered modernism, including the cinema.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat provides the first in-depth study of feature and documentary films produced under the auspices of Mussolini's government that took as their subjects or settings Italy's African and Balkan colonies. These "empire films" were Italy's entry into an international market for the exotic.