By Lucia Nagib, Chris Perriam, Rajinder Dudrah
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He countered the hegemony of banal dramas imposed by the imperatives of the growing film industry; however, unlike those who attacked the new technological age for its supposed ‘lack of soul’, he insisted on its spiritual virtues and saw cinema as a powerful vehicle for the expression of an ecumenical sense of the oneness of life and cosmos, thanks to its aesthetic magnificence, ON FILM AND CATHEDRALS 25 emotional power and collective scope. In short, he saw cinema as the modern correlative of medieval cathedrals.
This scene confirms the success of the young men in America, but the promise of a stable life alongside their wives is still uncertain, since the inevitable confrontation between the old father who has just arrived and the new symbolic father may never reach the desired resolution. Mutual acceptance and the recognition of values shared between the two forms of patriarchy are far from guaranteed. This is hence an allegorical scene. Cinema, architecture, religion, art, family, Europe the United States are all conflated here.
The Tavianis concentrate on empirical and symbolic relations involving films (Pastrone’s Cabiria, 1914, and Griffith’s Intolerance, 1916), modern nations (Italy and the United States) and filmmakers. My purpose is to discuss the ways in which they understand the interaction between art, memory and war, and allegorize the continuity of the aesthetic impulse, despite all the discontinuities 22 THEORIZING WORLD CINEMA in history, entailed by national conflicts and international catastrophes. In this film, they celebrate art as monument, raising the question of what is politically implied in this particular celebration.