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Film, Politics, and Gramsci

1994
Author:

Marcia Landy
Foreword by Paul Bove

Film, Politics, and Gramsci

Studies history as a form of folklore and reveals Gramsci's contributions to a rethinking of Marxism.

Landy reassesses Antonio Gramsci's politics in light of contemporary Marxist critiques of mass culture, examining the relationship among politics, culture, and history in his work.

Film, Politics, and Gramsci is the best study written thus far in English on culture and politics from a Gramscian perspective; it contains the most perspicacious treatment and intelligent critical analysis of Gramsci's views. Landy manages not only to explain and illustrate but also—and above all—to enact, to perform for herself and her readers the union of theory and cultural practice which is the hallmark of Gramsci's work.

Joseph A. Buttigieg, University of Notre Dame

Film, Politics, and Gramsci was first published in 1994.

Marcia Landy reassesses Antonio Gramsci's politics in light of contemporary Marxist critiques of mass culture. Unlike other studies of Gramsci that focus either on his political or on his cultural writings, Landy looks at the relationship between politics, culture, and history in his work. Focusing especially on Gramsci's notions of common sense and folklore, and illustrating these through readings of various films, this book encompasses issues such as:
• the contemporary status of history
• notions of education
• the nature of intellectuals
• the role of cultural production and media analysis

Landy consolidates questions of politics and culture through a close reading of Gramsci's writings as well as of recent Gramscian scholarship. In particular, she shows how Antonio Negri's writings accommodate, and even extend, the cultural concerns Gramsci raised.

Her examination of cinema—from British and Italian films to Hollywood science fiction—demonstrates how an elaboration of Gramsci's cultural and political analysis can serve as a corrective to the excesses of monolithic views of culture, whether dystopian or celebratory. Specifically, Landy shows how folklore, however "natural" and ahistorical it may seem, is constituted through changing representations of the state, civil society, subjectivity, knowledge, and power.


Film, Politics, and Gramsci

Marcia Landy is professor of English and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of several books, including Fascism in Film: The Italian Commercial Cinema 1930-1943 (1986), Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film and Television Melodrama (1991), and British Genres: British Cinema and Society (1991).

Paul Bové is professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of, among other books, Mastering Discourse: The Politics of Intellectual Culture (1992) and In the Wake of Theory (1992). He is also the editor of boundary 2.

Film, Politics, and Gramsci

Film, Politics, and Gramsci is the best study written thus far in English on culture and politics from a Gramscian perspective; it contains the most perspicacious treatment and intelligent critical analysis of Gramsci's views. Landy manages not only to explain and illustrate but also—and above all—to enact, to perform for herself and her readers the union of theory and cultural practice which is the hallmark of Gramsci's work.

Joseph A. Buttigieg, University of Notre Dame