By Joseph Luzzi

A Cinema of Poetry brings Italian movie experiences into discussion with fields open air its traditional purview via exhibiting how motion pictures can give a contribution to our figuring out of aesthetic questions that reach again to Homer. Joseph Luzzi considers the relation among movie and literature, specifically the cinematic edition of literary resources and, extra usually, the fields of rhetoric, media reports, and sleek Italian culture.

The publication balances theoretical inquiry with shut readings of movies by means of 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 deal with such the most 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 known as the "cinema of poetry."

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

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Dante, Purgatorio 16 That cinema appeared so much later than its sister arts had, as one might expect, both advantages and disadvantages. Because film lacked the authority of poetry, painting, and music, it faced the ongoing challenge of establishing its aesthetic value to its predecessors. 1 Yet the early perception of its artistic shortcomings also had a liberating effect: the medium could enter into some of the most acrimonious aesthetic debates with lighter baggage. Few skeptics could accuse early directors of, say, the cultural elitism often associated with the rarefied modes of neoclassical aesthetics or contrapuntal composition.

Moreover, La terra trema offers a much different version of the national chorale than the Christian Rossellini: in Visconti the only “religion” present is a secular one based on Marxist economic principles. ”31 The criticism has also considered Verga’s recourse to the Homeric subtext for archetypal themes and visual iconography, most famously in the twin faraglioni, the rocks reputedly hurled by the Cyclops after the fleeing Ulysses. More than physical boundaries, the rocks delimit the horizon of the characters’ worldview, since the stones divide the familiar world of tradition from an uncomprehending modernity, seductive in its promises but cruel in its offerings (’Ntoni states that, beyond the faraglioni the current is likely to destroy).

Moreover, the late arrival of their medium enabled filmmakers to address, self-consciously or not, age-old crises in the history of art with a wealth of information and clarity of principles unavailable to their earlier counterparts. Cinema’s fabled contribution to the discourse of realism, for instance, was both anticipated and nourished by the emergence of the historical novel in Victor Hugo, Alessandro Manzoni, and Walter Scott, as well as by the development of literary realism proper in such novelists as Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, and Émile Zola.

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