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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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From Pinocchio to Cuore: Children in Early Italian Cinema



The adaptation process that characterized early Italian cinema did not ignore children’s literature. Alongside Dante Alighieri and Alessandro Manzoni, Torquato Tasso and Eugène Sue, Pietro Cossa and Alexandre Dumas, production companies presented film adaptations of the two most popular Italian children’s novels in the post-Unification period: Le avventure di Pinocchio [The Adventures of Pinocchio] (1883) by Carlo Collodi and Cuore [Heart: A Schoolboy’s Journal] (1886) by Edmondo De Amicis. In 1911 the film company Cines produced Pinocchio, directed by Giulio Antamoro. In the same year, Cines also produced Il tamburino sardo inspired by the fourth ‘Monthly Tale’ of Cuore, and between 1915 and 1916 Film Artistica Gloria released the series of films inspired by all the ‘Monthly Tales’: Il tamburino sardo [The Sardinian Drummer-Boy], La piccola vedetta lombarda [The Little Lombard Sentry] and Valor civile [Civil Valour] directed by Vittorio Rossi Pianelli; Il piccolo patriota padovano [The Little Paduan Patriot], Il piccolo scrivano fiorentino [The Little Florentine Scribe], L’infermiere di Tata [Papa’s Nurse], and Sangue Romagnolo [The Spirit of Romagna] directed by Leopoldo Carlucci; Dagli Appennini alle Ande [From the Apennines to the Andes] and Naufragio [Shipwreck] directed by Umberto Paradisi.

The comparison of these adaptations and their source texts, of the cinematic hypertext and the literary hypotext allows us to analyse the relationship between children and early Italian cinema in connection with the ‘institutionalization’ of film genres.1 ← 151 | 152 →

The film Pinocchio directed by Giulio Antamoro is one of the...

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