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The Way of All Flesh: A History and Historiography of Violence and Death in Italian Cinema (1943-1980)

Ciammaroni, Stefano (2011) The Way of All Flesh: A History and Historiography of Violence and Death in Italian Cinema (1943-1980). PhD thesis, New York University.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Ciammaroni, Stefano

This study narrates a history of Italian cinema from 1943 to 1980 by the light of its evolving imaginary of violence and death. As both lived and represented experience, the antifascist Resistance is the starting point whence we proceed to hypothesize that the history of such imaginary ran parallel to the penchants of the Italian cultural Left. These penchants varied according to the extent to which the combatant legacy of the Resistance would be deemed properly upheld by the State and in the social relations.

Chapter I analyzes OSSESSIONE (1943), ROMA CITTA' APERTA (1945) and GIORNI DI GLORIA (1945). These analyses show a transition from protesting Fascism by scandalously disowning reason and constructiveness to celebrating its defeat by positing as motor of history the constructive progression from violence endured to violence perpetrated.

Chapter II discusses the collapse of such constructive penchants when revolutionary antifascism's most radical values were banished from parliamentary politics. VIAGGIO IN ITALIA (1953) hints at the incendiary potentials that these values might have when re-appropriated in the context of a "return of the repressed."

Accordingly, Chapter III turns to ROCCO E I SUOI FRATELLI (1960) and ACCATTONE (1961). Both films turn their enamored gaze to repressed and non-participant sub-proletarian formations, whose allegiance to destructively archaic codes renders their historical experience antagonistic to the edifying exigencies of nation-building.

Chapter IV essays the transition from enamoring domestic uncivilizable formations to invoking the Third World as un-modern terrain still arable with the seeds of non-bourgeois revolutions. LA BATTAGLIA DI ALGERI (1966) reassigns emancipative potentials to violent nation-building, but it subordinates a spontaneistic "common sense" to a theory laden Marxist "good sense."

Chapter V analyzes how the most common-sensed understandings of Third World Marxism define the Italian political Westerns of the late 1960s. As well, some Italian horrors of the 1970s emplot the historical impasses reached by the unproductive violent numbers of Italian political terrorism. PROFONDO ROSSO (1975) and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) in particular warn against resigning to lines of flight of pure violent expenditure. The former film's politically dense relationship with OSSESSIONE brings full circle this study's historical narrative

Official Website: https://search-proquest-com.arts.idm.oclc.org/pqdt/docview/886410692/abstract/CB5ECA4BB28641A0PQ/1?accountid=10342
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: May 2011
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 15:57
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2018 15:57
Item ID: 12966
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/12966

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