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Title: The politics of masculinity : male subjectivity and social conflict in Italian cinema of the 1970s
Author: Rigoletto, Sergio
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 9632
Awarding Body: The University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2010
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The 1970s have been largely seen as the starting point of a period of crisis for Italian cinema, marked by the increasing financial difficulties of its film industry and the gradual dissolution of its long and authoritative tradition of political engagement. This thesis interrogates this rhetoric of crisis and assesses the impact of the political and social unrest of this period on cinema. Its focus is on gender. In particular, it demonstrates how masculinity repeatedly functions in a number of films of this period as a crucial component in the articulation of critical commentaries about the nation and its socio-political lacerations. This thesis places films in their historical context and in relation to contemporary debates about politics, national identity and gender. It assesses the impact of these debates on cinematic representations of masculinity and examines the strategies used by a number of filmmakers to make sense of the social upheavals of the 1970s. The thesis develops an understanding of the characteristics, functions and implications of a number of cinematic narratives about men and their dilemmas at this particular historical moment. Through in-depth analysis of selected films, this thesis examines the rhetoric of male crisis of the 1970s and explores its relation to anxieties about modernization, the sexual liberation movements and the legacy of 1968. Each chapter shows how Italian cinema of the 1970s develops a commentary on the sociopolitical conflicts and tensions of this period through male points of view. This thesis examines the limits of this gendered perspective as well as some of the opportunities that it raises for understanding questions of agency and gender power in relation to the cinematic medium. Finally, it assesses the political potential for resistance and dissidence of some of these films and the way in which they attempt to challenge dominant gender paradigms of cinematic visibility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available