Il cinema per tutti: statuto e retorica dell’amatoriale nella pubblicistica e nei manuali degli anni Trenta
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This paper examines the social discourse that accompanied the birth and early codification of amateur filmmaking in Italy in the thirties through an analysis of manuals and specialist magazines. Firstly it investigates the technological factors, which in Italy were affected by the scarcity of a national industry of production of equipment and films, continually envisioned but never achieved. The paper then examines the discourse bound up with the use of home-movie cameras, the grammar and rhetoric of the amateur production, such as codified manuals offering advice on how to make films ‘properly’. Finally it analyzes the space of amateur film-making – on both the individual and collective levels, above all in the Cineguf societies promoted and organized by the Fascist regime – as contradictory practice, suspended between anarchic impulses, artistic needs and strong codifications: a training ground with a view to an entrance into professional cinema, and at the same time an opportunity to express a new sensibility towards the environment and the landscape. The paper seeks to demonstrate how public discourse sought to create an Italian cinematic identity in which commercial and amateur practice were not antagonistic but cooperated in the difficult confrontation with american cinema.
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