Revisiting Film Melodrama brings forth pioneering French and English-speaking approaches from internationally known experts as well as by young researchers, aiming to broaden the research area through new historical and aesthetic perspectives. Indeed, film melodrama has too often been under-estimated, most surveys having essentially focused on the audience’s emotions and on excessive representations, often neglecting the complexities of the «melodramatic mode». More than ever, melodrama as film genre requires a comprehensive, multi-layered re-appraisal which includes references to the genre at work on television, animation and the internet.
L’amorosa menzogna: Novelization and Melodrama in the 1950s Italian Cinema (Stefania Giovenco)
← 192 | 193 → L’amoroza menzogna: Novelisation and Melodrama in the 1950s Italian Cinema
University of Udine
The purpose of this essay lies in the survey of elements that bind spectators, melodrama and popular cinema together in the Italy of the 1950s through the study of a successful format in the editorial sphere of that time, namely the ciné-photo-roman. The analysis will focus on a representative case study: I figli di nessuno by Raffaello Mattarazzo (1951).
During the post-World War II period, cinemagoing experiences a significant expansion. As Maurizio Grande states,1 an industrial network of cinematographic production is structured in order to cope with the increasing demand of moving images. The cinema of this period is often linked to a genre logic, therefore promoting the affirmation of a ceremonial cinema where normative codes dictate style and content as well as production and showing. This ‘poor’ and ‘popular’ cinema aims at an expansion as well as a standardization of its audience. The cinema of the 1950s – as Spinazzola underlines it2 – deliberately targets popular audiences not only because its neo-realistic approach addresses the humbles, who also are its protagonists, but mainly because it is a popular kind of cinema that is aimed to reach a wide community of people. However, as Lino Micciché points out,3 the 1950s witness a progressive and final decline of the neo-realistic ethics of poverty to which corresponds a paradoxical affirmation of an aesthetic of poverty. ← 193...
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