Marco Bellocchio: The Cinematic I in the Political Sphere

Marco Bellocchio: The Cinematic I in the Political Sphere

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by Clodagh J. Brook

Toronto Italian Studies
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2010
World Rights
272 Pages
ISBN 9780802096517
Published Apr 2010
Online discount: 25%
 $32.95    $24.71
ISBN 9780802097101
Published Apr 2010
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442698543
Published Apr 2010
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $32.95

Marco Bellocchio is one of Italy's most important and prolific directors, with a career spanning five decades. In this book, Clodagh J. Brook explores the boundaries between the public and the private, the political and the personal, and the collective and the individual as they appear in Bellocchio's films. Including work on psychoanalysis, politics, film production, autobiography, and the relationship between film tradition and contemporary culture, Marco Bellocchio touches on fundamental issues in film analysis.

Brook's study interrogates what it means to make personal or anti-institutional art in a medium dominated by a late-capitalist industrial model of production. Her readings of Bellocchio's often enigmatic and perplexing work suggest new ways to answer questions about subjectivity, objectivity, and political commentary in modes of filmmaking. Relating the art of a private director to a public medium, Clodagh J. Brook's work is an important contribution to our understanding of film.

Clodagh J. Brook is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham.


Table of Contents

Note on the Text


Chapter One. Auteur and Autobiograpy
Constructing an Auteur
Collaboration and Production
The Zigzagging Path
Bobbio and My Mother's Smile: Autobiography in Bellocchio's Cinema

Chapter Two. Bellocchio's Political Cinema in the Sixties and Seventies
The Problems of Impegno in the Era of Postmodernism
The Nature of Bellocchio's Impegno
La Cina è vicina, "Discutiamo, discutiamo", and Pre-Contestation Impegno
The Militant Documentaries, Nel nome del padre, Marcia trionfale: Contestation, Impegno, Collectivity

Chapter Three. The Dreaming "I": Interiority and Massimo Fagioli's "Model" of the Unconscious
Massimo Fagioli and Group Therapy
Massimo Fagioli's "Model" of the Unconscious
The Calm Sea and Inner Child: Salto nel vuoto and Il sogno della farfalla
Sex, Women, and Irrationality: La visione del Sabba and La condanna
Screening the "I": Styles of Interiority
The Oneiric and States of Hesitation
Space and the Unconscious, or the House as Psyche: Salto nel vuoto and Diavolo in corpo
Temporality and the Unconscious: Enrico IV and the Chronotrap

Chapter Four. Bellocchio's Political Cinema from the Eighties to the Present
Italian Terrorism: Buongiorno, notte

Chapter Five. The Rebel "I": Patriarchy and Parents
The Woman as Rebel: Politics and Patriarchy
Rebellion in the Name of the Father and Family: I pugni in tasca, Il Principe di Homburg, L'ora di religione

Chapter Six. Tradition and its Discontents
Adaptations and Citations: Pirandello, Manzoni, and the Overturning of the Father-Text
Conclusions. Private Cinema in a Public Sphere



'Marco Bellocchio's recent return to the centre-stage of Italian cinema has been nothing short of remarkable. Clodagh J. Brook's study—the first of Bellocchio in English—is a highly timely contribution, a vigorous and closely attentive account of his oeuvre to date. It describes a body of work, from I pugni in tasca (1965) through to Vincere (2009), poised at a series of challenging junctures, between the real and the oneiric, the personal and the political, in disquieting, compelling rebellion.'

Robert S.C. Gordon, Department of Italian, University of Cambridge

'While Marco Bellocchio's film career has received deserved attention in Italy, his work is much less well known and written about in English. Clodagh J. Brook's admirably researched book redresses that situation by covering the span of his films from his earliest productions to the most recent, situating them in a historical, social, political, and theoretical context, and by paying proper attention to the changing forms of his style, his sources, modes of narration, and their connection to and divergence from those of other Italian and European filmmakers.'

Marcia Landy, English and Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh