New PDF release: A New Guide to Italian Cinema (Italian & Italian American

By Carlo Celli, Marga Cottino-Jones

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The idea of violence for political ends sprang directly from the audacity of D’Annunzio’s volunteers at Fiume and former arditi, shock troop veterans, as did THE FASCIST YEARS 21 the Fascist wearing of black shirts, brandishing of clubs, and forced public feeding of cod liver oil as means of political intimidation. But D’Annunzio’s political methodology did not evolve in a vacuum. Trends in philosophy and sociology that influenced D’Annunzio and Mussolini included thinkers such as Gustav Le Bon (1842–1931) and his theories on the effectiveness of political violence and demagoguery to mold public opinion.

21 In journals includings Cinema, Blasetti praised the style and work of Russian directors such as Sergei Eisenstein as a model to reestablish the artistic and cultural role of Italian cinema. Once Blasetti became a director, he borrowed from the formalists, particularly in terms of camera angles and shots that depicted a strong relationship between characters and their natural surroundings. Blasetti’s first THE FASCIST YEARS 29 effort as solo director, Sole/Sun (1929), now lost, portrayed the difficult life in the swamplands of the Littorio region south of Rome (later renamed Latina after WWII), drained under the Fascist land reclamation policies.

Mussolini’s son Vittorio took an active interest in producing and screenwriting as well as editing the journal Cinema. The government founded the Venice Film Festival in conjunction with the XVIII Biennale (Biannual) Art exposition, with the film competition becoming an annual event in 1932. The regime also added the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (CSC) film school in Rome in order to further develop the national film industry. The first president of CSC was the noted film theorist Luigi Chiarini, who would later direct features such as Via delle cinque lune/Five Moons street (1941).

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