New PDF release: A New Guide to Italian Cinema (Italian & Italian American

By Carlo Celli, Marga Cottino-Jones

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D’Annunzio retained an aura of personal prestige into the 26 GUIDE TO ITALIAN CINEMA 1930s, living his last years in an alabaster windowed villa at Salò on Lake Garda, the Vittoriale, where the aging, photophobic poet could receive his admirers. Equally important for his controversial views of the world and of man in this particularly critical time of Italian life is Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936), a true innovator in world theatrical history. Pirandello won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1934.

King Victor Emanuel III (1869–1947) refused to order in troops, one of the acts that sealed the fate of the monarchy after WWII. Support for the Fascists grew and in October of 1922 Mussolini was asked by the king to replace Luigi Facta as prime minister, perhaps unaware that he had just invited in a dictatorship that would last 21 years. 6 In his first few years in power, Mussolini (often called Il Duce, The Leader) moved somewhat cautiously. Yet the first three years of the ventennio, the 20 odd years of Fascist rule, were characterized by Mussolini’s consolidation of power, a transformation that took him from the figure of a suit waring premier of parliament 22 GUIDE TO ITALIAN CINEMA to the uniformed Duce of WWII.

41 A female figure communicating industrial and technological imagery supplanted the traditional identification of female physical weight with health and procreative power. Besides chorus lines in this Fordist context, the standard for a 1930s female physical display in the cinema was Claudette Colbert’s hitchhiking stocking readjustment scene in Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934), mimicked in the Italian cinema by Assia Noris in Camerini’s I’ll Give a Million (1935). Overall the 1930s and early 1940s were an incredibly vibrant period for the Italian cinema, which like French cinema under Nazi Vichy rule, enjoyed increased production due to autarkic policies that kept Hollywood films out of theaters.

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