Cover

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pp. 1-7

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-9

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-xi

Expressing gratitude is by definition humbling, but the task of adequately acknowledging the people and institutions who helped to bring this book to completion feels monumental. The commitment of Mary Ann Doane to this endeavor was vital and sustaining. She believed in...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xiii-xxxiii

Late twentieth-century thinkers often repeat a fateful parable of how World War II destroyed the photographic image. “After the camps,” according to this parable, the camera image could only reveal its own inadequacy. The unprecedented death toll of World...

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1. An Inevitably Obscene Cinema: Bazin and Neorealism

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pp. 1-67

André Bazin’s writings exemplify mid-twentieth-century arguments that locate cinema’s representational richness in the photographic mechanics of image production. In the epigraph to this chapter, Bazin proposes that because cinema is based on the photograph...

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2. The North Atlantic Ballyhoo of Liberal Humanism

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pp. 69-108

LIFE magazine predicted in 1952 that Italian cinema would pose an increasing commercial threat to Hollywood’s domination of the U.S. market if Italy continued to produce both “provocative films” and “provocative beauties.”1 Life even went so far as to trace the recent American...

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3. Rossellini’s Exemplary Corpse and the Sovereign Bystander

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pp. 109-148

In his 1999 documentary My Voyage to Italy, Martin Scorsese describes his personal devotion to Italian cinema. The film begins with the director sharing a memory from his childhood in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when every Friday night, his extended family gathered...

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4. Spectacular Suffering: De Sica’s Bodies and Charity’s Gaze

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pp. 149-183

Vittorio De Sica described his film Bicycle Thieves as “dedicated to the suffering of the humble.”1 He said that his Shoeshine arose from the desire to bring attention to “the indifference of humanity to the needs of others.”2 Over the course of the 1940s and early...

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5. Neorealism Undone: The Resistant Physicalities of the Second Generation

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pp. 185-213

Ordinarily, when the diegesis of one film overtly duplicates the diegesis of an earlier film, the cohesive homogeneity of fictional cinema implodes. Without an industrial rubric of star persona, adaptation, or sequeling, this form of diegetic repetition involves a disruptive...

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CONCLUSION

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pp. 215-231

This book emerged from an encounter with a film. It was not an Italian film but rather the well-known HIV/AIDS documentary Silverlake Life: The View from Here (Peter Friedman and Tom Joslin, 1993). That film raised questions for me about using the image of a suffering body to up the ante...

NOTES

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pp. 233-265

INDEX

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pp. 267-283