Cinema, Gender, and Everyday Space: Comedy, Italian Style by Natalie Fullwood

By Natalie Fullwood

Commedia all'italiana, or Comedy, Italian sort, grew to become renowned at a time of significant social swap. This booklet, using comedies produced in Italy from 1958-70, examines the genre's illustration of gender within the daily areas of seashores and nightclubs, places of work, vehicles, and kitchens, throughout the exploration of key spatial motifs.

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Extra info for Cinema, Gender, and Everyday Space: Comedy, Italian Style

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11 Although many of these volumes include discussions of everyday C I N E M A , S PA C E , G EN D E R 33 space, they nonetheless tend to be structured around the larger scale of cities or geographical regions. The spaces I discuss are related to the city in many ways, but this book moves from the smaller building blocks of everyday life outwards, rather than the other way around. 12 The everyday also implies the ordinary and the habitual. As Alice Kaplan and Kristin Ross put it in their introduction to a special issue on everyday life in French culture, the quotidian is “the realm of routine, repetition, reiteration” (1987: 3).

As Pamela Robertson Wojcik puts it, “Space and place are more than just one lexical choice among many; they are imbricated in signifying structures that are historically determined and that carry tremendous connotative and ideological weight related to issues of sex, gender, class, race, the body, individuality, family, community, work, pleasure, and more” (2010: 8). If we think in these terms, the fact that the sequence I have been discussing from Il moralista takes place in a nightclub is crucial.

Heath suggested that Burch’s division between onscreen and off-screen space is inadequate. Instead, he envisaged filmic space as composed of the interplay between these two types of spaces, where off-screen space is replaced by on-screen space “in a constant movement of reappropriation,” as exemplified, for instance, by the shot/reverse-shot (1981: 45). The importance of the interplay between on-screen and off-screen space emerges from the analysis of almost any sequence of film which follows the conventions of continuity editing.

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