Beauty and the Beast (Book)

Italianness in British Cinema

Scholarly interest in issues of national identity and representation has been increasing for years, and cinema is a major resource for that work, as it allows for cross-cultural dialogue and the portrayal of different layers of representation and cultural stereotypes. Beauty and the Beast takes a look at the depictions of Italy and the Italians in British cinema.
Elisabetta Girelli draws upon cultural and social history to assess the ongoing representation of “Italianness” in British film, and its crucial role in defining and challenging British national identity. Girelli provides an original survey of archival material such as World War II footage, and an analysis of significant British films like Summer Madness and A Room With A View. Drawing on British literary and filmic tradition to analyze the rise of specific images of the Italian other, Beauty and the Beast is a noteworthy and unique contribution to film and cultural studies.

Category: Performing Arts

Edition

Recent years have seen an increased interest in issues of national identity and representation, and cinema is a major medium where strands and layers of representational systems come together in cross-cultural dialogues. Beauty and the Beast provides an account of the specific development of depictions of Italy and the Italians in British cinema. Girelli draws upon cultural and social history to assess the ongoing function of “Italianness” in British film, and its crucial role in defining and challenging British national identity. Drawing on British literary and filmic tradition to analyse the rise of specific images of the Italian Other, this book makes original use of archival material such as WWII footage – and a selected corpus of significant British films.

Elisabetta Girelli is a lecturer in film studies at the University of St. Andrews.

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