Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape, and the Picturesque

Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape, and the Picturesque

by Giorgio Bertellini
     
 

ISBN-10: 0253221285

ISBN-13: 9780253221285

Pub. Date: 11/18/2009

Publisher: Indiana University Press

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253221285
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
11/18/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Transatlantic Racial Culture and Modern Visual Reproductions
Part 1. Picturing Italy's Natural and Social Landscapes
1. Picturesque Mode of Difference
2. The Picturesque Italian South as Transnational Commodity
Part 2. Picture-Perfect America
3. Picturesque Views and American Natural Landscapes
4. Picturesque New York
5. Black Hands, White Faces
6. White Hearts
7. Performing Geography
Afterword: "A Mirror with a Memory"

Notes
Filmography
Bibliography
Index

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