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Streetwalking on a Ruined Map: Cultural Theory and the City Films of Elvira Notari / Edition 1

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Overview

Emphasizing the importance of cultural theory for film history, Giuliana Bruno enriches our understanding of early Italian film as she guides us on a series of "inferential walks" through Italian culture in the first decades of this century. This innovative approach---the interweaving of examples of cinema with architecture, art history, medical discourse, photography, and literature--addresses the challenge posed by feminism to film study while calling attention to marginalized artists. An object of this critical remapping is Elvira Notari (1875-1946), Italy's first and most prolific woman filmmaker, whose documentary-style work on street life in Naples, a forerunner of neorealism, was popularly acclaimed in Italy and the United States until its suppression during the Fascist regime. Since only fragments of Notari's films exist today, Bruno illuminates the filmmaker's contributions to early Italian cinematography by evoking the cultural terrain in which she operated. What emerges is an intertextual montage of urban film culture highlighting a woman's view on love, violence, poverty, desire, and death. This panorama ranges from the city's exteriors to the body's interiors. Reclaiming an alternative history of women's filmmaking and reception, Bruno draws a cultural history that persuasively argues for a spatial, corporal interpretation of film language.

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What People Are Saying

Annette Michelson
In the expanding field of cinema studies, this work stands out in its rare imaginative force.
Annette Michelson, New York University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691025339
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Mapping Out Discourse: An Introduction 3
Pt. I Suppressed Knowledge of Elvira Coda Notari and Neapolitan Film: A Historical Panorama
1 Questions of History and Film in Italian Culture 11
2 Film Journals and Film Historiography 24
Pt. II Film in the Cityscape: A Topoanalysis of Spectatorship
3 Streetwalking around Plato's Cave, or The Unconscious Is Housed 35
4 Spectatorial Embodiments: Anatomies of the Visible and the Female Bodyscape 58
Pt. III Manufacturing Film Culture
5 Dora Film: An Urban Production House 79
6 Women at Work: Manufacturing Movies 105
7 Dora Film of America: Women and Immigrants in the American Dream 122
8 Censorship: A Cut on the Wings of Desire 137
Pt. IV The Metropolitan Texture
9 Fragments of an Analyst's Discourse: Lacunae 147
10 The Architecture of Public Melodrama: A Corporeality of the Street 161
11 Between the Feast and the Law: The Carnivalization of Narration 187
12 City Views: Filmic Cityscape, Artistic Perspective, and Touristic Travel 201
Pt. V Female Geographies
13 Anatomy of an Analysis: The Authorial Noir 233
14 Popular Cinema and Women's Literature: The Transito of Female Discourse 241
15 Medical Figures: Hysteria and the Anatomy Lesson 255
16 Topographies of Dark Female Pleasures 278
17 Written on the Body: Eroticism, Death, and Hagiography 309
Notes 329
Filmography 391
List of Illustrations 399
Index 405
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