November 04
14:00 - 16:00

Moving in the Land of Stillness: Modernity and Mobility in Non-fiction Films about Southern Italy (1948-1968)

Fuelling Mobility

The exploitation of methane and oil in 1949 provides a crucial boost to economic and industrial development and decisively concurs to the beginning of Italian modernity. From mass motorization to the foreshadowing of backwards working migration from north to south, mining activity is represented as the determining factor in the revolution of the forms of mobility, conceived as the crucial element of such modernity. By analysing rhetorics and images connected to hydrocarbons and their derivatives, this paper will show how the attention to modern substances is a main concern shared by techno-films of the period and highlights fuels’ pivotal role in shaping the new imaginary of the economic miracle. 

Giacomo Tagliani

He is Research Fellow at the University of Palermo. Previously, he was Visiting Assistant Professor in Film and Italian at Dickinson College and taught film and media studies at the universities of Salento and Calabria, and at Middlebury College School Abroad. His most recent publications include two monographs about Italian biopic and political cinema, as well as essays on Fellini, Montage Theory, and the images of terror and terrorism.

Mass Tourism between Mobility and Mediality

The emerging of mass tourism is one of the social transformations in which it is easiest to grasp the relationship between mobility and modernity. This process, which culminates in the period of the economic miracle, is represented in many documentaries of that time, in which the coasts of Southern Italy are elected as tourist destinations, where modernity and escape from modernity ambiguously coincide. The Southern landscape becomes the object of appropriation by this new emerging individual, the tourist, through mainly two processes: the landing and the discovery. This paper aims to present some documentaries in which these two concepts are presented, highlighting the reciprocity of mobility and mediality. 

Angela Maiello

She is researcher of Film and Media Studies at Università della Calabria. Her research is mainly focused on media theory, digital culture and television studies. She is the author of “L’archivio in rete” (goWare 2015), “Gomorra - La serie. La famiglia, il potere, lo sguardo del male” (Edizioni Estemporanee 2016), “Mondi in serie. L’epoca postmediale delle serie tv” (Pellegrini 2020). She is the Italian translator and editor of “Radical Mediation” (Pellegrini 2017), a collection of essays by Richard Grusin

Mobile Memories: New Looks on Ancient Tales

Between 1948 and 1968 the contrast between the old idea of the immobility of Southern Italy and the lively variety of places and humanity returned by non-fiction cinema changes the image of the South. This multiple look reflects the profound change that Italians had undergone in the sphere of mobility. The development of railways, the spread of cars or lighter vehicles, such as the Vespa, make it possible to cross the spaces of the South embracing unprecedented points of view on the landscape and on its historical stratifications. This paper aims to analyse the ways in which audiovisual production close to the institutions destructures the stereotype of a South stationary in its idyllic landscapes to build new forms of storytelling in which the historical-mythological tradition becomes functional to the rendering of a modern image. 

Lucia Di Girolamo

Ph.D. at the University of Firenze, is currently research fellow at the University of Catania. Between 2009 and 2013 she directed Cinemascope IFJ. Her main research interests focus on the recovery dynamics of cultural survivals in silent and contemporary cinema, on the cinematographic and television representation of the South and on the representation of women. In 2014 she published “Il cinema e la città. Identità, riscritture e sopravvivenze nel primo cinema napoletano” (ETS), in 2015 “Per amore e per gioco. Sul cinema di Pedro Almodóvar” (ETS), in 2017 she edited “Fotoromanzo napoletano” (Skira), a collection of unpublished photos of silent Neapolitan cinema.

Destabilizing Mobility: Emigration and Human Movements to/from Southern Italy

Emigration, a topic traditionally connected to the depopulation of Southern Italy, gained a special attention between Reconstruction and the Italian economic miracle: during this period thousands of people looking for job opportunities moved towards Northern Italy, European states and overseas destinations. As a result, it is not surprising that documentaries paid attention to such a strategic issue for the South of Italy. This paper is concerned with nonfiction productions which dealt with a disruptive topic such as emigration: on the one hand, productions mitigating the uncertainties of emigration; on the other hand, films showing the destabilizing effects of migratory mobility in the Southern regions. 

Massimiliano Gaudiosi

He is Research Fellow at the University Suor Orsola Benincasa. His research interests include film theory, film analyses and media archaeology. He is author of “Lo schermo e l’acquario. Scienza, finzione e immersività nel cinema degli abissi” (Pisa, Edizioni ETS, 2019) and (with Augusto Sainati) “Analizzare i film” (Venezia, Marsilio, 2007). He also published essays on film journals and edited books.