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Antonio Pietrangeli, The Director of Women: Feminism, Film Theory and Practice in Postwar Italy

  • Author(s): Van Ness, Emma Katherine
  • Advisor(s): Harrison, Thomas
  • et al.
Abstract

This study will examine the work of Antonio Pietrangeli both as film theorist and as director. Critics have long considered Pietrangeli an anomaly, difficult to place into genres, since his cinema focused primarily on female protagonists. This dissertation will investigate the idea of Pietrangeli as a feminist practitioner, tying his early writings on film from the late Forties as well as his later film production from the Fifties and Sixties to feminist and film theory. While some of this theory was contemporary to Pietrangeli, what this study will show is that he was anticipating later developments in critical, feminist, and structuralist theory, in particular apparatus theory and psychoanalytic theory in film studies. Since Pietrangeli has a history of being marginalized, misunderstood, and ignored in Italian film studies, this dissertation seeks to remedy that omission by bringing his work into dialogue with other established film critics and auteurs in order to show that his unique voice, both in theory and in praxis, deserves scholarly attention and consideration.

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