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New Visions of the Child in Italian Cinema


Edited By Danielle Hipkins and Roger Pitt

The figure of the child has long been a mainstay of Italian cinema, conventionally interpreted as a witness of adult shortcomings, a vessel of innocence, hope and renewal, or an avatar of nostalgia for the (cinematic) past. New Visions of the Child in Italian Cinema challenges these settled categories of interpretation and reconsiders the Italian canon as it relates to the child. The book draws on a growing body of new work in the history and theory of children on film and is the first volume to bring together and to apply some of these new approaches to Italian cinema. Chapters in the book address aspects of industry and spectatorship and the varied film psychology of infancy, childhood and adolescence, as well as genres as diverse as silent cinema, contemporary teen movies, melodrama and film ethnography. The contributors engage with a wide range of modes and theories including neorealism, auteurism and contemporary postfeminism. The book maps out new roles for gender, the transnational, loss and mourning, and filmmaking itself, leading to a revised understanding of the child in Italian cinema.
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We would like to thank all the participants in the conference ‘Re-envisioning the Child in Italian Cinema’, held at the University of Exeter in July 2008, for their support, enthusiasm and intellectual input. A special thank you also goes to our keynote speakers, Aine O’Healy, Robert Gordon, Mary Wood and Paul Sutton, and to Exeter colleagues who offered support and chaired sessions. We would also like to thank the administrative support staff at Exeter who assisted in the organization, and the Society of Italian Studies, who contributed towards the costs of the conference. This book grew out of that conference but has evolved into something more substantial than conference proceedings.

Particular thanks to John Stevenson for assistance with the formatting of tables and to Catherine O’Rawe and Alan O’Leary for their guidance in shaping the volume. Above all, we would like to thank all the contributors, the series editors and publishers of this volume, who waited so patiently for its eventual emergence.

All translations are the authors’ own, unless otherwise indicated.

Finally, I would like to dedicate this book to my parents, Pauline and Michael Hipkins, whose commitment to children has enhanced many lives, particularly my own.

Danielle HipkinsApril 2014 ← xiii | xiv →


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