Italian Political Cinema

Figures of the Long ’68

2022
Author:

Mauro Resmini

An exploration of how film has made legible the Italian long ’68 as a moment of crisis and transition

Traditionally, the definition of political cinema assumes a relationship between cinema and politics, but Mauro Resmini sees this relationship as an impasse. He turns to Italian cinema to explore how films have reinvented the link between popular art and radical politics in Italy from 1968 to the early 1980s, a period of intense political and cultural struggles known as the long ’68.

Mauro Resmini’s Italian Political Cinema is a powerful and original reimagining of the question of the political in Italian cinema. Bracingly theorized and enriched by a fine handling of form and historical context, Resmini’s book heralds a new era in Italian film studies while making an important contribution to the theorization of cinema’s political possibilities.

John David Rhodes, author of Spectacle of Property: The House in American Film

Traditionally, the definition of political cinema assumes a relationship between cinema and politics. In contrast to this view, author Mauro Resmini sees this relationship as an impasse. To illustrate this theory, Resmini turns to Italian cinema to explore how films have reinvented the link between popular art and radical politics in Italy from 1968 to the early 1980s, a period of intense political and cultural struggles also known as the long ’68.

Italian Political Cinema conjures a multifaceted, complex portrayal of Italian society. Centered on emblematic figures in Italian cinema, it maps the currents of antagonism and repression that defined this period in the country’s history. Resmini explores how film imagined the possibilities, obstacles, and pitfalls that characterized the Italian long ’68 as a moment of crisis and transition. From workerism to autonomist Marxism to feminism, this book further expands the debate on political cinema with a critical interpretation of influential texts, some of which are currently only available in Italian.

A comprehensive and novel redefinition of political film, Italian Political Cinema introduces its audience to lesser-known directors alongside greats such as Pasolini, Bertolucci, Antonioni, and Bellocchio. Resmini offers access to untranslated work in Italian philosophy, political theory, and film theory, and forcefully advocates for the continued artistic and political relevance of these films in our time.

Retail e-book files for this title are screen-reader friendly with images accompanied by short alt text and/or extended descriptions.

Cover alt text: Eight film stills in color and black and white. Title in red and black on white. Author name in green.

Mauro Resmini is assistant professor of cinema and media studies and Italian at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mauro Resmini’s Italian Political Cinema is a powerful and original reimagining of the question of the political in Italian cinema. Bracingly theorized and enriched by a fine handling of form and historical context, Resmini’s book heralds a new era in Italian film studies while making an important contribution to the theorization of cinema’s political possibilities.

John David Rhodes, author of Spectacle of Property: The House in American Film

Contents

Introduction: Cinema/Politico

1. “A Dance of Figures”: For a Figural Theory of Political Cinema

2. The Worker: Subjectivity within and against Capital

3. The Housewife: Figuring Reproductive Labor

4. The Youth: The Dialectic of Enjoyment

5. The Saint: An Ethics of Autonomy

6. The Specter: Totality as Conjuration

7. Apocalypse with Figures: The Tyrant, the Intriguer, the Martyr

Epilogue: The Cinema of ’68, the ’68 of Cinema

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index