Traumatic Encounters in Italian Film (Book)
Locating the Cinematic Unconscious
This book addresses the question of the relationship between psychoanalysis and film, bringing together Lacanian theory and Italian cinema. The author explores the relationship between the Real, the under-represented Lacanian category, and some of the most widely celebrated and lesser-known Italian films of the post-war period.
Always stylistically innovative, thematically defiant and driven by a strong political agenda, Italian cinema lends itself particularly well to a critical investigation aimed at radicalising the impact of psychoanalysis on film. In doing exactly that, the book deliberately avoids the standard cultural and historical approaches to film. Instead, it moves freely amongst some of the most widely celebrated – as well as lesser-known – Italian films of the post-war period, discussing the ways in which they tackle such themes as desire, fantasy, sexuality, violence and the law, to mention but a few. The main focus is on the work of those directors who most effectively engage with the divisive nature of the moving image: Antonioni, Pasolini and Rossellini. In addition, the book provides ample and insightful references to films by Visconti, Bertolucci, Bellocchio, Moretti, Petri, Fellini, Ferreri, and many more.
Fablo Vighl is a lecturer in Italian and European Cinema at Cardiff University.