The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema
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The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema

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Italian film star Bartolomeo Pagano's "Maciste" played a key role in his nation's narratives of identity during World War I and after. Jacqueline Reich traces the racial, class, and national transformations undergone by this Italian strongman from African slave in Cabiria (1914), his first film, to bourgeois gentleman, to Alpine soldier of the Great War, to colonial officer in Italy's African adventures. Reich reveals Maciste as a figure who both reflected classical ideals of masculine beauty and virility (later taken up by Mussolini and used for political purposes) and embodied the model Italian citizen. The 12 films at the center of the book, recently restored and newly accessible to a wider public, together with relevant extra-cinematic materials, provide a rich resource for understanding the spread of discourses on masculinity, and national and racial identities during a turbulent period in Italian history. The volume includes an illustrated appendix documenting the restoration and preservation of these cinematic treasures.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27.94mm | 558g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 52 b&w illus., 31 color illus.
  • 0253017459
  • 9780253017451

Table of contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Why Maciste?
1. The Birth of the Strongman: Italian Silent Cinema, Stardom, and Genre
2. From Slave to Master: Cabiria (1914) and Maciste (1915)
3. Maciste Goes to War: Maciste alpino (1916)
4. Over There: The Maciste Series, World War I, and American Film Culture
5. Love, Labor and Leadership: The Modernity of the Maciste Series, 1919-1922
6. Muscling the Nation: Benito Mussolini and the Maciste Films of the 1920s
Conclusion: The Giant of the Dolomites and Beyond
Appendix: Claudia Gianetto and Stella Dagna
Part I: The Restoration of the Maciste Series
Part II: In Focus: Scene Analyses
Part III: Filmography
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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Review quote

In this path-breaking book, Reich . . . provides an interdisciplinary study of the Maciste films released in Italy between 1914 and 1926, films featuring actor Bartolomeo Pagano as Maciste, the strong man of Italian silent cinema. . . . Recommended. * Choice * The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema is udnoubtedly a major contribution fo film scholarship. * Gender/Sexuality/Italy *
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About Jacqueline Reich

Jacqueline Reich is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. She is author of Beyond the Latin Lover (IUP, 2004) and Re-Viewing Fascism (IUP, 2002).
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