Ricci Cinema And Fascism Summary

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The book under review is Steven Ricci’s Cinema and Fascism: Italian Film and Society, 1922-1943. Ricci’s book seeks to explore the influences upon Italian cinematography during this period, focusing upon the impacts made by Fascist politics, economic restraints and Hollywood connections. Throughout the book Ricci is keen to widen the focus upon Italian cinema and expand the inquisition beyond the common preconceptions of all Italian film during this period being dominated and controlled by Fascist concepts. Moreover this systematic analysis throughout the book of comparing Italian cinema with Fascist control is a theme, which separates Ricci’s approach from many previous works upon this subject. Through links with Hollywood and the emergence of documentaries in Italy, Ricci’s exploration of the cinema-state relationship places him in a relatively new and unchartered area of historiography upon this period. Ricci’s pursues his examination of Italian cinema through a series of thematic chapters rather than following the traditional chronological approach that…show more content…
The book discusses examples of America’s cinematic expansion into Italy with major production companies such as MGM creating offices in Rome. As a consequence American historical epics were created around the era of the Roman Empire, with Ricci citing Condottieri as the best example. Over seven and a half million dollars were invested into the Renaissance set piece, which created constant links back to Roman traditions. The film, it is argued, is an allegory of Mussolini’s rise to power and therefore is not only a celebration of his rise to power but is set against the splendor and success of Rome, previous to Fascist rule. Thus this examination by Ricci allows one to see how cinema was used as a form of sacralization as a celebration of the Roman history, which Fascism held at its

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