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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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Un’ora sola ti vorrei: Childhood and Mourning



Alina Marazzi’s 2002 film Un’ora sola ti vorrei [For One More Hour with You] is an intimate work of love and commemoration. It looks at a mother missing, exploring her loss through the iconography of childhood and through the emotions that attach to domestic imaging of children. The filmmaker’s mother, Liseli Marazzi Hoepli, committed suicide in 1972, after a lengthy period of mental illness. Alina, her daughter, was seven years old. The film, largely collaged from home movie footage and family photographs, is the adult director’s means of knowing a relation to her mother, and her mother’s family, and of commemorating that family history. In this way the film keeps alive a relation to the dead. This is facilitated by the protracted work of Marazzi’s grandfather, Ulrico Hoepli, an amateur filmmaker. As Pietro Goisis explains: ‘In the 1920s, through a business exchange, [Hoepli] obtained one of the first cine-cameras. He then got hold of a Pathe Baby, with which he recorded the almost complete story of his family from 1926 until around 1980 on over 60 reels’.2 Hoepli’s filming creates an extraordinary resource for Marazzi, a source and focus for her ← 243 | 244 → memory work, and extensive visual material for her filmmaking (indeed memory work and filmmaking seem closely intertwined).3 Marazzi explains that she was the first viewer to turn to this intimate archive, looking at the images of her mother and of her family for the first time in thirty years. Bringing the images...

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