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Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema Review Essay Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema George Steinmetz Department of Sociology, The University of Michigan, 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382, USA. E-mail: geostein@umich.edu Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema Ruth Ben-Ghiat Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 2015, 420 pp., $35.00 paper ISBN: 978-0253015594 American Journal of Cultural Sociology (2018) 6, 212–222. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41290-016-0007-5; published online 5 September 2016 Many of us have seen some of the early Italian neorealist films, such as Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City or Germany, Year Zero. We have a powerful recollection of what distinguishes these films – their mixture of documentary style with fictional storytelling, their use of stark black and white imagery, lending a sense of urgency and strangeness to scenes of everyday life, and the deployment of amateur actors alongside professionals. For sociologists interested in film, including documentary film, and in the relations between poetic and scientific modes of representing reality, Italian neorealism is an important source of inspiration. Thus, it comes as a shock to read that the peculiar stylistic, methodological, and epistemological aspects of Rossellini’s classics were developed in the context of official state filmmaking in fascist Italy. Yet, this claim is amply documented in Ruth Ben- Ghiat’s http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Sociology, general; Sociology of Culture; Media Sociology
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-016-0007-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Review Essay Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema George Steinmetz Department of Sociology, The University of Michigan, 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382, USA. E-mail: geostein@umich.edu Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema Ruth Ben-Ghiat Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 2015, 420 pp., $35.00 paper ISBN: 978-0253015594 American Journal of Cultural Sociology (2018) 6, 212–222. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41290-016-0007-5; published online 5 September 2016 Many of us have seen some of the early Italian neorealist films, such as Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City or Germany, Year Zero. We have a powerful recollection of what distinguishes these films – their mixture of documentary style with fictional storytelling, their use of stark black and white imagery, lending a sense of urgency and strangeness to scenes of everyday life, and the deployment of amateur actors alongside professionals. For sociologists interested in film, including documentary film, and in the relations between poetic and scientific modes of representing reality, Italian neorealism is an important source of inspiration. Thus, it comes as a shock to read that the peculiar stylistic, methodological, and epistemological aspects of Rossellini’s classics were developed in the context of official state filmmaking in fascist Italy. Yet, this claim is amply documented in Ruth Ben- Ghiat’s

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Sep 5, 2016

References