A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film by Joseph Luzzi

By Joseph Luzzi

A Cinema of Poetry brings Italian movie experiences into discussion with fields outdoors its ordinary purview by means of exhibiting how motion pictures can give a contribution to our realizing of aesthetic questions that reach again to Homer. Joseph Luzzi considers the relation among movie and literature, particularly the cinematic variation of literary resources and, extra commonly, the fields of rhetoric, media stories, and smooth Italian culture.

The e-book balances theoretical inquiry with shut readings of movies through the masters of Italian cinema: Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, and others. Luzzi's examine is the 1st to teach how Italian filmmakers tackle such an important aesthetic matters because the nature of the refrain, the relation among image and allegory, the literary prehistory of montage, and where of poetry in cinematic expression, what Pasolini referred to as the "cinema of poetry."

While Luzzi establishes how sure traits of movie, its hyperlink with technological procedures, means for mass distribution, artificial virtues (and vices) because the so-called overall artwork, have reshaped centuries-long debates, A Cinema of Poetry additionally explores what's particular to the Italian paintings movie and, extra largely, Italian cinematic historical past. In different phrases, what makes this model of the paintings movie recognizably "Italian"?

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Extra info for A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film

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Thus, and as one might expect in so theatrically minded a director, Visconti’s chorus comes closest of all to the modes and motifs of its original Greek tragic form. By combining the timelessness of epic with the pointed social commentary of the Verghian chorus, La terra trema bears witness to rebuilding an Italy that has one foot in and one foot out of history, with both squarely set in the international class struggle. All told, the choral imagery in neorealist film stemmed from a sense of commitment beholden more often than not (especially in Visconti) to leftist discourses about the political function of the artist.

In the first half of the film a meeting takes place between Manfredi, an Italian intellectual who represents the elite left of the Resistance, and Francesco, who embodies in Gramscian terms the organic proletarian vanguard in the ongoing class struggle. Their first encounter is over dinner, and the ensuing imagery is rife with symbols.

De Sica’s characters channel their director’s affection into images of choral expression devoid of Rossellini’s deferral to the private nature of religious experience. An early sequence in Ladri di biciclette translates domestic choral imagery into a public, class-inflected montage of the proletariat going to work during Rome’s morning rush hour. Antonio and Bruno Ricci are shot in unison in a tender evocation of family and work life, an image then inserted into its broader choral context of cycling fellow laborers who jockey for position in the morning traffic.

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