Reframing Italy: New Trends in Italian Women's Filmmaking

Reframing Italy: New Trends in Italian Women's Filmmaking

by Bernadette Luciano, Susanna Scarparo


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In recent years, Italian cinema has experienced a quiet revolution: the proliferation of films by women. But their thought-provoking work has not yet received the attention it deserves. Reframing Italy fills this gap. The book introduces readers to films and documentaries by recognized women directors such as Cristina Comencini, Wilma Labate, Alina Marazzi, Antonietta De Lillo, Marina Spada, and Francesca Comencini, as well as to filmmakers whose work has so far been undeservedly ignored. Through a thematically based analysis supported by case studies, Luciano and Scarparo argue that Italian women filmmakers, while not overtly feminist, are producing work that increasingly foregrounds female subjectivity from a variety of social, political, and cultural positions. This book, with its accompanying video interviews, explores the filmmakers’ challenging relationship with a highly patriarchal cinema industry. The incisive readings of individual films demonstrate how women’s rich cinematic production reframes the aesthetic of their cinematic fathers, re-positions relationships between mothers and daughters, functions as a space for remembering women’s (hi)stories, and highlights pressing social issues such as immigration and workplace discrimination. This original and timely study makes an invaluable contribution to film studies and to the study of gender and culture in the early twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557536556
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2012
Series: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures , #59
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Bernadette Luciano, University of Auckland, New Zealand, specializes in Italian cinema and cultural studies. She has published articles and book chapters on Italian cinema, film adaptation, Italian women’s historical novels, women’s autobiographical writing, and literary translation. She is author of The Cinema of Silvio Soldini: Dream, Image, Voyage (2008) and co-editor of an interdisciplinary book on cross-cultural encounters between New Zealand and Europe.
Susanna Scarparo, Monash University, Australia, works on Italian cinema and literary and cultural studies. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on Italian women’s historical writing, women’s life writing, Italian feminist theory, Italian-Australian literature and Italian cinema. She is author of Elusive Subjects: Biography as Gendered Metafiction (2005) and has co-edited Violent Depictions: Representing Violence across Cultures (2006), Across Genres, Generations and Borders: Italian Women Writing Lives (2005), and Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Italian Culture: Representations and Critical Debates (2010).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Reframing Tradition 9

Reframing History 12

Reframing Society 16

Framing the Industry 20

Chapter 2 The "Girls" Are Watching Us: Reconsidering the Neorealist Child Protagonist 23

Re-appropriating Neorealism 25

Re-appropriating the Father-Son Relationship: Mi piace lavorare-Mobbing 27

Situating Girls in the Neapolitan Cinematic Landscape: Domenica 34

Impermeable Boundaries for an Island Girl: L'isola 40

Conclusion 46

Chapter 3 Reconfiguring the Mother-Daughter Relationship 49

A Mother's Love: L'amore di Màrja 51

The White Space of Motherhood: Lo spazio bianco 55

Searching for a New Language: II più bel giorno della mia vita 59

The Political Is Personal: Un'ora sola ti vorrei, Di madre in figlia, and Il terzo occhio 65

Chapter 4 Reinventing Our Mothers: Gendering History and Memory 81

Literary Mothers: Christine Cristina and Poesia che mi guardi 86

Gendering Politics: Il resto di niente and Cosmonauta 96

Reframing Feminism: Vogliamo anche le rose and Ragazze la vita trema 106

Conclusion 115

Chapter 5 Migration and Transnational Mobility 117

Relocations and Dislocations: La stoffa di Veronica, Sidelki, and Il mondo addosso 119

Mobile Encounters: L'appartamento and Come l'ombra 131

The Fantasy of Racial Mixing: Bianco e nero and Billo-Il Grand Dakhaar 136

Conclusion: Reconfiguring Home 148

Chapter 6 Women at Work: Negotiating the Contemporary Workplace 153

An Economy in Transition: Signorina Effe 157

The Violence of the New Economy: Mi piace lavorare-Mobbing 164

Framing a Precarious World: Riprendimi 171

Documentaries by and about Women and Work: Invisibili and Uno virgola due 175

Conclusion: Framing the Film Industry 185

Appendix: A Conversation with Contemporary Italian Women Filmmakers: Online Supplementary Material Interviews with Selected Women Filmmakers 195

An Interview with Alina Marazzi 196

An Interview with Antonietta De Lillo 197

An Interview with Costanza Quatriglio 198

An Interview with Francesca Pirani 199

An Interview with Paola Sangiovanni 200

An Interview with Marina Spada 201

Credits 202

Notes 203

Works Cited 215

Filmography 233

Index 241

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