Edited By Danielle Hipkins and Roger Pitt
Girls Lost and Found: Daughters of Sin in Italian Melodramas of the 1950s
Adoro tutto ciò che parla di sentimento, passione, amore, dramma e tragedia. Mi interessano soptrattutto i film che cercano di mostrare al pubblico le intime sofferenze delle donne di piacere. Le donne come me hanno sempre qualche motivo che le ha spinte a fare quello che fanno.
[I adore everything that speaks about feeling, passion, love, drama, and tragedy. Above all I like the films that try to show the public the private suffering of women of pleasure. Women like me always have some reason that’s pushed them to do what they do.]
—‘UNA PROSTITUTA’ in Giorgio Peiretti, ‘Gli spettatori si confessano’, Rassegna del film (15 June 1953), 17–21
In the previous chapter, Louis Bayman highlighted that ‘as a figure of loss’, the child in postwar Italian cinema exists ‘contained within a state of suffering innocence’ (p. 170). What I will show in this chapter is how the juxtaposition of a (lost) young girl or daughter with a fallen woman or prostitute in melodrama points with a mise-en-abyme effect to the impossibility of representing femininity coherently, despite the abundance of ← 189 | 190 → women on screen. Given that the female protagonist in Italian cinema of this period most often represents sexuality and the body, in this chapter I will be asking what relation this lost female child can have to the positioning of adult femininity. How is the girl child marked by the implied limits of her incumbent female destiny...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.