The Italian Cinema Book reflects the current state of scholarship on cinema with references to popular research models in the field, such as cinema historiography, transnational cinema, and political approaches. The contributors address canonical topics in the field, such as feminism and the representation of women, psychoanalytic theory, film genre, star studies, and reception studies. Well-illustrated by frame shots, photographs, movie posters, and advertisements, this provocative and original collection is recommended by Niall Flynn.
The Italian Cinema Book. Peter Bondanella (ed.). British Film Institute. December 2013.
Any edited collection has to integrate individual authors’ voices—not necessarily in a sequential fashion, but one that forms a dynamic whole. To do this with thirty-nine individual contributors is a significant task. With The Italian Cinema Book, Peter Bondanella has taken on such a task. Why work with so many contributors, and what does it achieve?
Firstly, this is an exercise in meticulousness. The book is divided into six sections, which chart Italian cinema from ‘The Silent Era’ to ‘An Age of Crisis, Transition and Consolidation’ before finishing with a section on current trends in the subject. Bondanella indicates the burden of trying to write a history of something—referring to the revisions that always seem to be required. The book does not simply present a history of Italian cinema, however; Bondanella already wrote (1982)—which focused on the established topics of postwar neorealism and auteurist film—and (2009)—which revised Italian film history to reflect contemporary critical inquiry. This book promises another rethinking.