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Valentina Vitali

2 The exclusion of giallo films from the history of Italian cinema La ragazza che sapeva troppo / The Evil Eye / The Girl Who Knew Too Much was directed by Mario Bava in 1962. It tells the story of Nora Davis (Letícia Román), a young, blonde American woman who journeys to Rome on holiday. The film’s first image, shown over the titles, is of a TWA aeroplane about to land at Fiumicino Airport. On the soundtrack is Adriano Celentano’s popular song ‘Furore’ (meaning ‘fury’). Immediately after the titles, we cut to inside the jetliner. Nora, one of the passengers, is

in Capital and popular cinema
The dollars are coming!

While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.

The early horror films of Mario Bava
Reynold Humphries

Blood and Black Lace , 1964). 1 The first three titles belong to what I shall, for argument’s sake, call ‘the supernatural horror film’, the latter to the Italian genre of the giallo . The first point worth noting is that the three examples of ‘supernatural horror’ are all ‘period pieces’, set in the nineteenth century, whereas Sei donne per l’assassino is set in the

in Monstrous adaptations
Exclusions and exchanges in the history of European horror
Peter Hutchings

there that is a lot more exciting than whatever we have here, wherever here is. A corollary of this is that Eurohorror films perceived as strange and transgressive by non-Europeans can sometimes seem considerably more mundane to the inhabitants of the countries that produced those films. Take the Italian giallo , for example. This is usually understood within the context of Eurohorror as a lurid and violent form of psychological or horror thriller, with the foreignness of the word arguably helping to

in Hammer and beyond
Abstract only
Mary P. Wood

Giallo or noir? Although Italy has hosted festivals of film noir for many years, there have been few critical attempts to define Italian film noir as a genre. The fundamental reason for the Italian difficulty with the concept of noir is undoubtedly the predominance of the word giallo which entered popular vocabulary to denote mystery stories from 1929 when the publisher

in European film noir
Abstract only
Valentina Vitali

Conclusion If canonical texts [are] always symptomatic of the culture in which they [are] produced and communicated, then the culture itself must be resonant with the text in ways more complicated than historians have necessarily assumed. (Withington 2013: 16) In the mid-1990s anthologies began to appear that discussed as ‘popular cinema’ films similar to the ones examined in this book. But the reinscribing of horror, giallo and other unstable genres into the histories of national cinemas, rather than in anthologies specifically devoted to what has been left

in Capital and popular cinema
Author: Jacopo Pili

Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.

Bodies and environments in Italy and England

This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink, excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy. The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to affect human bodies and health.

Abstract only
National cinema and unstable genres
Valentina Vitali

surplus accumulation at a particular point in time. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 trace the differing nature of that state–capital relation in Italy, Mexico and India, and how this impacted both on the production of giallo (thrillers) and horror films in these countries and, importantly, on these films’ position within Italy, Mexico and India’s accounts of their national cinemas. This leads me to the issue of critical positions that I highlighted at the opening of this Introduction. Positions vis-à-vis unstable genres such as horror cinema have tended to be examined through the

in Capital and popular cinema
Abstract only
Andrew Spicer

guilt and the instabilities of memory and identity. Recognition and discussion of Italian film noir has been trammelled by problems of definition. The word giallo , which entered popular vocabulary from 1929 when the publisher Mondadori brought out detective fiction in yellow covers, has subsumed noir under its extensive ambit. As Mary Wood argues, Italian film noir is characterised by its presence in a wide-range of very

in European film noir