By S. Craig
This incisive survey considers post-war eu cinema, studying the methods filmmakers recognize the fascist past.
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Extra resources for Cinema After Fascism: The Shattered Screen
He, like Mussolini, is a vehicle for projection, spoken of with reverence and longing as a mythic hero, a new masculine ideal. His very elusiveness underlines his status as an object of desire for both women and men, hero-worshipped by young male partisans who longingly whisper his name, and deeply longed for by the remarkable Harriet. Guido’s alias, “Lupo” (“Wolf”) is equally suggestive. Mussolini enshrined and formally codified preexisting symbolism for the city of Rome, adopting the wolf as its official symbol, and reproducing the image of the famous Etruscan bronze sculpture of a wolf.
All the elements of conventional cinematic romance, the expected spectacle, are present between Fred and Francesca: the original “cute” meeting of two attractive, young, heterosexually matched protagonists, a touch of pathos requiring each to “save” the other, sprightly and flirtatious dialogue in the flashback scenes, a private setting with three-point lighting and a filtered lens. All that is missing is the desire of the leading man. When we see Fred again waiting, greedy only for food, for a truck to carry him off to his “chow,” he throws his script for a romantic narrative, the scrap of paper Francesca has left for him, away onto the ground.
The basic assumption ostensibly shared by all sides in in the ruins of fascism / 27 these debates was the idea that film is the most transparent of all media, providing the least impeded access to a reality that can be seen, and that has a prior existence separate from the medium through which we see it. In contrast, my reading of Paisà argues that the film works within a very different set of assumptions. For Rossellini, the luxury of an unproblematic assumption of transparency is never possible.
Cinema After Fascism: The Shattered Screen by S. Craig