Fascism in Italian Cinema since 1945: The Politics and Aesthetics of Memory

Hardcover | May 29, 2013

byGiacomo Lichtner

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Italy gave us the words 'fascism' and 'totalitarianism', yet globally the dominant image of the regime is one of an incompetent dictatorship served by soldiers who 'would not fight for love nor money on account of their languorous Latin character', as Noel Coward wrote. This book investigates Italian cinema's contribution to stereotypes of victimhood and innocence, otherwise known as Italiani brava gente, by tracing across the postwar period filmmakers, audiences, censors and the unforgettable characters of Italian cinema. The author casts an innovative eye on classic films like Rome Open City and 1900, and analyses in depth many lesser known works, to tease out recurrent trends and ongoing taboos of representation and assess them in a comparative European perspective. From the desperate resolve of neorealism to the bloated mediocrity of Berlusconian revisionist melodramas, Italian cinema has remembered selectively and silently forgotten the most shameful pages of Italy's history.

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Italy gave us the words 'fascism' and 'totalitarianism', yet globally the dominant image of the regime is one of an incompetent dictatorship served by soldiers who 'would not fight for love nor money on account of their languorous Latin character', as Noel Coward wrote. This book investigates Italian cinema's contribution to stereotype...

Giacomo Lichtner is Senior Lecturer in History and Film at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is a cultural historian and his research focuses specifically on the relationship between history and film, cinema as both a mirror and creator of social trends and the political uses of cinema to create national and political...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:May 29, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230363326

ISBN - 13:9780230363328

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Table of Contents

PART I: REVISIONISM
1. Remembering the 'long Second World War' in Europe
2. The Blood of the Defeated
PART II: RESISTANCE
3. Neorealist Catharses
4. Luigi Zampa: Fascism and italianità
PART III: RECONSTRUCTION
5. Clueless Fascists and Accidental Anti-Fascists
6. Il Federale's Apolitical Commitment
PART IV: REVOLUTION
7. The Sins of the Fathers
8. Ettore Scola's Ordinary Day
PART V: RECURRENCES
9. Black Shirts, Hearts of Gold: Recurrent Memories
10. Unexploded Ordnance: Recurrent Amnesias
Epilogue
Bibliography
Filmography

Editorial Reviews

'In his new book, Lichtner provides trenchant analysis of the cinematic portrayal of Mussolini's corrupting and violent dictatorship. Time and again he brilliantly illuminates the construction and misconstruction, representation and misrepresentation of a past that should not be permitted to fade away. Italy today needs its past and present read with Lichtner's sensibility and critical acumen.' - Professor Richard Bosworth, University of Oxford, UK'Fascism in Postwar Cinema brims with considered reflections on the relationship of history, film, and memory, providing a clearly written and forcefully argued account of how film has engaged with Italy's Fascist past. Particular merits of the book are its attention to the often neglected 1950s and 1960s films, and to movies that register contemporary revisionist views of Fascism.'- Professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University, USA