ISBN self-development - dog - outsider - integration - divorced parent - single parent No one likes year-old Isamu, neither his classmates nor his neighbors; in fact, they avoid him. As soon as he gets an old dog, however, his conduct changes. The process of self-development is accompanied by a fine description of the changing of the seasons, which gives this novel its particular charm. In the last few years, more and more books focusing on domestic problems e. As a rule, the stories are set in a metropolitan milieu, not in rural surroundings as in this book. ISBN father's diary - everyday life - parents - only child - society This book is one of the first Chinese novels to portray the life of a only child.
Chinese children today grow up in a world surrounded by adults: they have no brothers or sisters, they are thought to be lonely, proud and self-centered. The novel is crafted in the form of a monologue, a father's diary, dealing with feelings of affection and confusion. The book deals with such an important topic that it has already been translated into Japanese.
ISBN picture book - folktale A folktale retold In modern fashion, this book is about how a farmer boy helps an emperor get up early in the morning. The simple story line allows ample space for the lovely, handcrafted paper cuts of the creative illustrations which combine the traditional art of Chinese paper cutting and modern art techniques. Biblioteka vjeverica ISBN earthquake - Dalmatia - immigrant workers - Croatia - outsiders - family A sophisticated, melancholic children's novel set against the backdrop of the earthquake in the Dalmatian mountain country at the beginning of the s.
Although somewhat overshadowed by the war going on in the country, the description of life under primitive conditions in the mountainous region, family worries, the problem of the children of emigrant workers who return to their country of origin and general social problems is still current. ISBN poem A fancifully illustrated edition of brilliant poems for children by a not so young Russian author born in From his choice of theme and the way he approaches a topic, he is not unlike Josef Guggenmoos to whom he is in no way inferior with regard to his jokes.
ISBN poem - youth culture Poems for young people which precisely capture young people's "feeling" and their interests. A rhapsody of love and music. Hidden behind banalities and a certain flippancy, partly packaged in nonsense, the author transports deep emotions and critical thoughts here. ISBN poetry international When a topic or theme like "multiculturalism" comes into vogue, whether in children's literature or any other field, many projects develop which are clearly done just to corner a piece of the market.
And then again an idea may be realized and a work produced which probably never would have come about or received such publishing support without a strong impetus. Such is the case here. In , the prize-winning American poet Naomi Shihab Nye sent out a call to all corners of the earth for entries for this collection and probably never dreamed of the great response she would receive. Her immediate goal was to find more poems from contemporary poets from other "foreign" countries to share with younger readers when working as a poet-in-the-school, to help them learn more about writing poetry and to open windows to new friendships.
In the end she selected poems from 68 countries and arranged for excellent English translations. The poems are grouped under six general headings, although, in one sense, each poem actually stands alone just as much as it stands together with the others. As one reads one begins to feel the presence of an international community - that is the essential and special experience which this volume helps create.
For those readers who feel they have found a new friend, there are biographical notes on the authors; also included are a world map, an index to countries and an alphabetical author index. As an international anthology of translated poetry, it seems conceivable and commendable that the original works also be published in other languages, taking one more step toward closing the circle. Thus we find a spectrum of inspiring ideas in artistically akribic delicate workmanship in this little book.
Typeface, paper coloring, page design are diversely presented. Each page reveals a new lyrical picture world. A book which will become a classic for children and adults. ISBN biography - young adult's book. Courage to be true to one's own unadorned memory and a genuine literary language distinguish this extraordinary autobiography. And these qualities cannot be taken for granted since the book deals with a childhood experience of the holocaust - an historic fact which today, due to the persistent and abundant public interest in the subject, can no longer be the private concern of an individual's memory - unless there are aspects to report which have not before been considered worth mentioning: an early youth in which the greatest mystery is death rather than love and sexuality, curiosity about death, the sense that people experience similar fates quite individually and that their wounds are therefore unpredictable and diverse.
Also that poetry and literature must be taken literally in catastrophic situations, in case something of it should be true: aspects of survival which radiate a vitality in defiance of all the austere and negative conditions, survival which is to be understood as living. The author teaches in the German Department of an American university. She wrote the book in German. ISBN wordless book - wolves The young artist attracts attention with an extraordinary succession of pictures. There are large-format transformation games which make use of purely pictorial elements.
Forms and colors shift dramatically from one double page to the next. The perspective moves in closer and closer, sweeps downward and backs off again. The action starts with a four-pointed white landscape in front of a red heaven with black pine tree tops below. Gradually one can see into the woods more precisely: a black wolf appears between the pale tree stumps, comes closer, his head gets larger and larger, the rocks change to teeth, the heavens to a tongue, they solidify into an explosive flash of lightning, then the teeth change back again into rocks, the old order returns, the wolf goes away.
Roman 37 ISBN mental handicap - friendship - protective spirit The mentally handicapped Victor apparently marches to the beat of his own drummer. He is absolutely convinced that the earth is flat. On the other hand, Mme Belon, the neighbor whom he sometimes visits, is determined to win a trip around the world. Victor is worried about her.
When she comes to the end of the world, she will fall off into the abyss. He decides to build a fence to protect her from such disaster. However, the task he has set for himself proves to be unworkable. Victor's nightly appearances, his two inner protective spirits Grigou and Serpente, know what to do and hurry to help. But even the three of them are not up to the task. In the end Victor is able to be convinced that the earth is round. The author has been successful in creating a whimsical account full of empathy for child- like reasoning processes.
The dialogues between Victor and his invisible friends are charming. Camets du monde 18 ISBN Peru - travel report - slums - Villa el Salvador Becoming acquainted with the world by means of fictional or authentic travel reports, sketches and adventure narratives set in the capitals of the world are in demand these days in French literature for children and young people. Thus, the 18 titles of the series "Garnets du monde" are right on target. Cultivated design, thoughtful and lively layout, the quality of the information and the immediacy of the personal reports and the travel sketches themselves all contribute to their popularity.
In this volume, the trip extends from the Andes to the model city "Villa el Salvador", the densely populated poor district of Peru, built in the desert near the capital city of Lima. The author conveys a thought-provoking insight into the problems of this community which, owing to the personal efforts of its inhabitants and its clever leadership, succeeded in becoming an autonomous and workable one. Atmospheric watercolors of breathtaking landscapes and the situation sketches let us participate in the events.
An especially notable volume from the series "known unknown" in which personalities of Western cultural history are presented. Here we read a fictional letter from Socrates to his sons, a mental legacy in which he sums up for them his vision of good and evil, important and unimportant. The agreement between the philosophical and the aesthetic message of the lovely pictures is striking. The illustrations are arranged like theater scenes, bordered by Greek columns and temple friezes and the text is integrated into the illustrations.
The motifs are based on Greek vase painting, ancient statues and ivory brooches. A book with a powerful message, once again confirming the cultural objective of this one- woman publishing house and book shop in Geneva. Among the winners of the last quarter century are such prominent authors as Giovanni Arpino , Silvano Pezzetta and Alberto Moravia , 's winner Italo Calvino wrote an especially extraordinary as well as quite realistic story: l disegni arrabbiati The Evil Drawings.
The girl Lodolinda's moods and the kinship with sheep, clouds and cauliflower appear in addition to Federico's mad ideas, one of which - to put the goldfish in the dishwasher - Lodolinda can prevent only with great difficulty. Never I have read such an pertinent and fast-paced description of children. Altogether imaginative and outstanding texts, even if the opinion of the individual authors about the form of the contemporary fairy tale diverges widely.
Italian humor and a feeling for Italy's great fairy tale tradition break into the most surprising blossoms here. While the description how of the figure Ana Paz and her environment - above all the figure of her father - consistently elude the narrator's creative designs occupies the story level, an artistically consummate story materializes on the discourse level. The individual phases of the writing process are recounted mostly in the dialogues between the child Ana Paz and the narrator.
Other figures, a young girl and an old woman who extorts an optimistic view of the future at the end of her days, are discovered to be stages of a single life. Nunes frequently describes the creative process in its dramatic, even tragic dimension Tschau, We Three , but never before with such a light touch and an earnest, self-ironical cheerfulness. The Brazil of today in which the figures are anchored, the shadows of the military past and the social conditions in which they live and move, give the story its depth and compelling power, extending beyond the purely artistic set of problems.
Whoever is fortunate enough to experience Nunes in the theater with the stageplay Ana Paz - in which she assumes all four roles - will gain an additional appreciation of Ana Paz, especially where the reader's own imagination had attributed its own particular intonation to the figure. One day he encounters a brother-like creature, the pterodactyl. Although he doesn't understand the grating language, he nonetheless is pleased to hear it- the first song in the world.
Emotions are the source of poetry. Higher poetry can ultimately lead us to humanitarianism. This picture book shows connections which the young reader can readily understand since the simple pictures and brief text of this story form an ideal unity. Kukareku: skazki i komiksy …dija detej i vzroslych Cock-a-doodle-doo : Tales and comics Witty, naughty verses alternate with gentle fairy tales, interesting non-fiction contributions many dealing with art topics and funny animal tales, and so on and so forth.
The graphic design and the illustrations are also very impressive. The contributions by numerous renown artists are skillfully arranged in a harmonious unity. Of Alexei A. Perovskij; , a bastard sons of the Duke A. In the first tale, set in Moscow in the 17th century, a witch has a disastrous influence on human fates, which can only be corrected after her death. The second tale takes place in a boarding school in St.
Petersburg in the 18th century and deals with a boy, an outsider, who is conducted into the underworld by a black hen, who "in reality", is the mininster of an underground dwarf king. The subterrestials possess mysterious powers and can help the boy in many situations. Both tales are clearly influenced by the works of E. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, ISBN Aborigines - Racial Conflict - Sport The narrator, Dougy, the youngest, seemingly simple-minded child of an Aborigine family living in a small village, relates the events of one summer in which his sister, Gracey, with whom he is very close, plays a leading role.
After she wins the m race in the state championships and subsequently a scholarship to boarding school, the white residents of the village become openly resentful. Racial tensions surface when a white girl who had been expelled from the same school is found unconscious near the river. An armed "civil war" breaks out and one person is even killed. It is ended only by a flash flood, in which Dougy helps save his brother and sister from a mysterious shadow, perhaps the Moodagudda, the river spirit in which he but not everyone still believes.
The intricate plot has several levels which are well-developed: the Aborigine family structure, the loss of and frequent indifference to their own Aborigine cultural heritage, sibling relationships, the status structure in the racially and socially mixed village community microcosmos , and the chances and choices which different individuals use or misuse. The role of intolerance and prejudice as motivating factors in a community is also explicitly explored.
Finally, the position of Dougy in all these events is perhaps symbolic of the average, passive observer and eventual participant in a socially changing situation. ISBN Storytelling - Folk literature Adaptation A mighty ruler who loves stories so much that he would condemn the forgetful storyteller to death after saving the tales he has told in the files of a memory machine , A young child who hates the fairy tales his father tells because they always end happily- ever-after - and are thus not true, since death after all is life's real end.
A tale which cannot be separated from its teller. In addition to his retelling of ten tales from the oral traditions of Japan, Uganda, Portugal, Great Britain, Scandinavia,orway, Israel, France and ancient Persia in such a way as to make a rich narrative tapestry, the author-father frames his bed-time storytelling ritual with philosophical reflections which remind the adult readers of the magic and significance involved in passing along stories to the next generation in a most compelling manner - by the power of the stories themselves.
The reader soon understands the stone which Tod feels "in his chest where his heart ought to be. For Guy Fawkes Day, Tod sews an odd-looking ragdoll with which to beg for pennies, but soon notices that the face he gave it was not of a guy, but a girl. This doll becomes his alter ego, singing and murmuring in his ear. The turning point in his months-long journey is the encounter with a children's social worker in a holiday home, who gains his trust and becomes mental anchor, This is a heart-breaking novel of a boy's survival in a cruel, anonymous world.
It is a well-crafted story, whose initial feeling of hopelessness is gradually replaced by a strong sense of resiliency, making it a satisfying experience for readers who appreciate emotional involvement. A lemon is, metaphorically, how the author characterizes the initial life circumstances of Jolly, a year- old single mother with two pre-school children.
The novel is, at least in part, about what she learns to make out of it. She struggles bravely against the odds to run the household and hold down a job. To do so, she needs an inexpensive babysitter, preferably one with strong nerves, a flexible time-schedule and experience. Instead, her advertisement is answered by year old LaVaughn, a high-school girl and daughter of a hard-working widow.
LaVaughn has set her mind on getting to college. For that she needs good grades at school and money, which she plans to earn with part-time jobs. The uneasy relationship that develops between these two very different teenagers over many months, the touching relationship between LaVaughn and the two young children, and LaVaughn's tentative attempts to defend her own opinions and actions to her mother are further aspects of this extraordinary, unsentimental novel set in working-class surroundings.
That education is the key to the future could seem like an overly overt moral message, if it weren't simply self- evident under the given conditions. Narrated matter-of-factly by LaVaughn, it is written in her own natural speech patterns - a masterly achievement by Wolff. She had been active in the Communist resistance. At the time of her death her son was three years old, she herself In , two years before the opening of the archives, Ditte Clemens, a citizen of the GDR, began to investigate the available sources - and after endless difficulties with the officials also the archival materials - about Liselotte Herrmann, who was considered a model case of a Communist resistance fighter.
The official, i. Thus with this book an example of citizen's courage in the immediate present is unfolded for the reader. The desire and personal wish of the author to make history transparent, to set recognizable truth off from the declared cliches, gave her the courage to overstep them. In mutually complementary, alternating chapters, Ditte Clemens develops the archive material in question in a fascinating manner for the reader and at the same time reports on her own difficulties in the search for truth.
It becomes evident - this is the merit of this book - what kind of historical falsification is necessary in a dictatorship of any color and that only the resistance of individuals can remedy it. From the beak of this intelligent bird there is much to be heard. Upon arrival in Europe the thrush learns to imitate all sounds of our civilization and almost drives Pitou crazy, until he decides to return the irksome bird to his own kind. Ever since then this otherwise paradisical island has been filled with a true cacophony of the sounds of our civilization.
In this oversized picturebook in comicstrip style - the author is known for his comics for adults - Jean Claude Denis succeeds in perfectly orchestrating the easily understood text with the pictures. Exclamations and commentaries are additionally placed in balloons. A first person report and nice, absurd fun. It told the story of the cancer death of the protagonist's mother. In the second volume we follow the mourning period of year old Marie-Lune and how she finds comfort and support from her friend Antoine.
One day she discovers that she is pregnant. Should she have the baby? Antoine, who is actually too inexperienced to be of permanent help, sees no problems to a future life together. Should she give up her child for adoption? She finds no adoptive parents who please her and decides lo keep her son. The novel ends with a description of the birth, which we follow through Marie- Lune's feelings and impressions. The interesting feature of this moving and gentle novel is the psychological maturing process of the figures and their ability to go new ways.
The author brings closer the confusion of conflicting feelings and Marie-Lune's sensibilities with both tact and humor. Miguel o expositor Miguel, the exhibitor [Porto]: Afrontamento, 1st ed. When the friend of his over- worked mother sends Miguel out on the street to sell his first, still unfinished picture in order to make money, he obeys him. Miguel succeeds in selling his picture for a high price. But when the mother, made happy by the money, encourages him to make more pictures to sell, something in him threatens to break. When the mother suddenly recognizes the pain her child suffers and attends to him, the effect is redeeming for both protagonists and reader.
The mood of each chapter is suggested by the use of matted or bright colors. Over and over again the crickets assure each other how glad the ants must be to have this musical accompaniment. They only realize that their chirping gets on the ants' nerves when the ants are relaxing in their comfortable winter apartments and the crickets beg them for food - only to be given the cold brush off. But next summer when the ants can barely drag themselves along in the August sun, the crickets having decided to strike, the ants then send their own delegation.
Winter provisions are assured, if only they will sing again for the weary workers. The illustrations by Jover give this old and often retold fable additional charm. While entire convoys of racy ants line the borders in various formations, small, full-sized drawings on the opposite page portray the place, action and mood of the events with all its delightful minute details.
Her greatest wish is to go one day all alone to Manhattan to visit her grandmother and bring her a strawberry pie. This grandmother was once a variety show dancer and married several times. The wolf is here Mr. Wolf, a pastry cook and multimillionare who lives in a skyscraper near Central Park. But the magical path of the story leads to Miss Lunatic, an ageless beggar who lives in the Statue of Liberty by day and spends her nights out-side.
An encounter with her changes a person's life. In any case, the declared reader's age of "For 8 to 80" for this series is correct for this book, which is much deeper than just a literary game, but which is also fun. Once the little baby brother is born, a highly painful process of adjustment to a new situation begins.
Pia Thaulov is a vehement illustrator, the brush full of energy, the colors wild, her ideas wild and grotesque. All the actors are characterized with unerring strokes. The mother, in spite of a stomach like as kettle drum, is not pregnant wet blanket, but remains an attractive young woman. The new infant is not, as usual, drawn sugary sweetly, as if from the parents point of view, but, complete with umbilical chord as if on a fishing pole, blue and blaring, leaps toward the first-born, who falls from his disintegrating throne as if into nowhere.
The book ends happily in harmonious brotherliness, while the parents are sent off to prepare bottles and make more children. Osaru ni nani hi A Monkey is born Tokyo: Kodansha, Little Monkey lives on a peaceful southern island. Earlier books in the series described the everyday life, the fear of being different, and adventures at sea; in this volume Little Monkey is waiting for a new brother or sister. The story tackles existential questions about life in a casual manner.
The reader will be amused by the astonishing naivety, the delightful child-like thoughts and humorous illustrations which make the simple world of the monkey children seem like an oasis in comparison to one's own complicated and hectic surroundings. The "Little Monkey Books" are ingenious in their simplicity, which is perhaps the key to their enormous success.
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Although she is affectionately cared for by her grandparents, and can enjoy splendid natural surroundings, sometimes she is homesick. This is a sensitive story of everyday life which nearly every child experiences in one way or another. Particularly noteworthy are the gentle illustrations by Chihiro lwasaki which aptly capture the moods of the young girl and suggest something of the nature surrounding her without making it fully visible.
From both a literary and an artistic point of view, this is an outstanding book in the inimitable Japanese style. Each searches for a hiding place resembling himself, to avoid discovery. But their play is always interrupted and they constantly find each other. Rain clouds darken the sky. Suddenly mysterious shadows appear beyond the grass - then- mothers are coming to get them. All go home together happy and satisfied. In these simple scenes of playtime, portrayed creatively in clear shapes and colors, the feelings that little children experience day after day, such as joy, fright, fear and security, are given lively, immediate expression.
Tokyo: Fukuinkan shoten, Makiko is greatly troubled and attempts to encourage her to speak with questions about the two of them. By looking at herself in a mirror, grandmother gradually begins to recognize herself again. This book deals with a topic rarely treated in picture books and offers a stimulus to discussion for children and their families.
In order to illustrate the progress of grandmother's from confusion to self-rediscovery and also Makiko's feelings, the illustrator employs a daring, abstract style of painting. The prismatic imagery and dissolving colors are given expressive resolution thanks to the appropriate text. Sorekara… And then? Tokyo: Dowaya, ISBN Children's poetry - Existence In his newest book of poetry for children and adults the year-old Andersen prizewinner Michio Mado turns his attention to things and creatures that are taken for granted and hardly ever consciously experienced, such as mosquitoes, ants, grass, wind, etc.
Eveything in this world has a right to be here; because of their origins, every living thing is of equal value. Mado looks at creation not from the point of view a man but from that of the living beings themselves. Hence the reader make new discoveries in his poetry over and over Again. His success brings peace and wealth to his village. The prize-winning Chinese illustrator Tan Xiao Yong contributes illustrations which combine traditional Indian ink and modern coloring on wet paper; inspite of their two- dimensionality they express spatial depth and physical weightiness.
The strong, dynamic brushstrokes endow both the dragon and the protagonists, who are usually portrayed in the heroic poses of Asian theater, enormous liveliness. Alongside the impressive illustrations, which are outstanding examples of the singularity of the Asian art of painting, the painstakingly prepared text is rather reserved.
Five elitist cats preside in an office where self-importance, intimidation and hypocrisy blossom. The author exposes the absurdity and folly of such everyday discrimination. In the end, unceremoniously, he lets a superior being in the figure of a lion to put an end to the whole business. The illustrator Ken Kuroi succeeds in giving expression to the realistic and the phantistic aspects of the text, a task which is especially difficult to do for the works of Kenji Miyazawa, the modern classic writer who holds a unique place in Japanese children's and youth literature.
Notes about the young years of Nippon Zaemon Tokyo: Kodansha, In the middle of the Edo era midth century there was a famous robber. Nasuda's fictional account of his childhood is climaxed by an exciting encounter between an elephant and the little elephant driver from Annam. Life at the toll stations along the streets of this feudal social system are depicted in an informative and lively manner.
Nasuda has adopted a new style here by writing some parts of the novel in the first person, thus making history more immediately present and directly appealing to the reader. One realizes that he must distance himself from his younger playmates, the second experiences the bitter reality of life through his own failure, the third is drawn into a dubious scheme of his father's, the fourth must take his mother's place in the work of the community, and the fifth experiences first love. All of them must try to deal with newly awakened feelings and a sense of self-discovery. Along the way, the foreign readers will get a glimpse into the everyday life of Japanese school children.
This literary work, which is designed with a very original, eloquent cover, will leave the reader with a certain wistfulness. Hoshi no furuyoni When stardust falls Tokyo: Fuzambo, ISBN Stag - Nature - Adventure - Night - Lost A young stag who lives in the woods with his parents gets lost one evening due to his fascination with a shooting star.
Following the river in which the sparkling star is reflected, the young stag comes to an empty city and the a meadow. Only at dawn does he find his parents again. Hiroshi Senju, painting in the style of modern Japanese art, has created a wordless picture book in his own unique style. On the left side of each double-page spread there is nothing but a small map of the course being followed by the young stag.
The visual interaction of map and illustration enables the observer to experience the spaciousness of nature and the stillness of the night in the same way the stag does. The fine distinction between sky, water and landscape imbues the entire picture book with a very delicate atmosphere. Tokyo: Kaiseisha, A highly unconventional beginning reader, it deals with the integration of two new first- graders, a Japanese boy and a Spanish girl, into the class. The ways in which their two cultures differ is cleverly interwoven in the story in a precise and humorous narrative, which is supported by convincing illustrations.
An interesting Japanese contribution to the topic of cultural integration. The strong-willed, curious Cassie and her two intelligent, hybrid friends manage to break out of the enclosure. After their disastrous flight to freedom they return reluctantly to Parkland, where they finally break the mastery of the keepers and learn why those extraterrestrial beings had become "cosmic gardeners" with a mission to maintain diversity and harmony in the galaxy. This masterly written novel with strong characterizations challenges the imagination of the reader on every page and poses basic questions about human life, attitudes toward fellow creatures, and the ability to create and control life and society.
In this picture book for primary school children Kevin, son of a logger, takes a walk for the first time in the local rainforest with environmentally concerned classmates whom he had once dubbed "the greenie mob. The at times lengthy text serves to describe the habits and needs of the various animal species, making Kevin's growing social awareness plausible. While the intention of the book is undoubtedly moralistic, it is tastefully presented in a very attractive and informative format. Power and glory St. ISBN Video game - Family life - Challenge By dealing with an activity close to their hearts and high on their minds, children who are reluctant to read might be drawn to this story about a video game player.
In fact an book with an unconventional layout, it employs repetitive, situational vocabulary and hilarious caricatures of family life situations. The narrative tension between the all-absorbing challenge of a video game of skill and adventure and the continual interruptions by parents, siblings and pet, each with their own demands is as hilarious as it is realistic.
Geoff Kelly has chosen an avant-garde style of illustration which resembles but in no way imitates video graphics. ISBN Stepparent - Family problems Even if this book by one of England's best contemporary authors had appeared anonymously, its success would be guaranteed by the immediately absorbing narrative with its masterful combination of suspense and sensitive delving into the hearts and minds of appealing and believable main characters.
Five twelve- year-old classmates who know each other only superficially accidentally discover the memoir of a man with a tragic family history in a hidden room of an old spooky manor. A chance find, a cryptic word from their teacher and an all-night round of storytelling begins, in which each tells about his or her own family problems and gains insight into the difficult choices and emotional turmoil facing each of the others.
The common bond between them all is the presence of stepparents in their lives.
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This is a book which will be read in one sitting and still be hauntingly memorable long after. Way home London: Andersen Press, ISBN Homelessness - Boy - Cat - Friendship His white-on-black text and the skillfully composed dark, somber illustrations immediately identify this book as one dealing with a "problem": the underside of life, street life, in a metropolitan city in a modern affluent society. It depicts an hour in the life of a boy of the street - in which such a picture book would have no place - who empathizes with and adopts a stray cat as company.
Together they return through the ugly back alleys to the hole he proudly calls "home. The four Conroy sisters, aged between thirteen and six years, have not changed a bit in this sequel to the Guardian award-winning title The Exiles They get involved in numerous escapades by sitting for the baby next door, selling packed lunches at school, robbing the postbank, selling their mother's books, or gardening for an elderly couple.
Each of the girls has a distinctive personality within the family, and alone or together their actions and idiosyncratic reasoning ensure the reader one laugh after another. Who's for the zoo? London: Orchard, text first publ. With this sixth installment in her "Woodside School Stories series" the versatile Jean Ure manages to portray a cast of individual characters and tackle a topic of social concern. When one pupil in her classroom hesitantly reveals her dismay at the planned school excursion to the zoo, the teacher finds a clever way to let the rest of the pupils reflect on how it might feel to be kept in a cage and gawked at.
The somewhat larger type and black-and-white sketches make these titles attractive additions for home, school and public libraries, while the choice of topics makes them suitable for readers of English as a second language. Johnson, Charles forward Rites of passage. Stories about growing up by black writers from around the world. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, ISBN Blacks - Racial discrimination - Self- discovery The syntax, vocabulary and content of these seventeen stories is uniquely rooted in the so-called black experience without making them any less universal, inspiring and entertaining for readers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.
The manifold effects of belonging to a minority which collectively has been economically and socially disadvantaged for so long are sometimes blatant, sometimes quite subtle elements in these poignant and finely tuned tales about crucial moments in the process of coming of age, of learning to see the real world from a new perspective.
This international anthology includes authors who grew up and still write today about contemporary life in North America, Latin America, Africa, England, or Australia. The protagonist, twelve-year-old Shortning, is quite capable of recognizing and verbalizing his disadvantaged situation but seeks anyway to get his father released from the chain gang.
By chance he saves the life of a white boy, Hawk, who begins to recognize his own prejudices and misconceptions of blacks. Though they are each still bound by strict social conventions. Hawk helps Shortening succeed in his plan. The solid plot and natural, honest dialogues create an authentic, gripping story of resilience and solidarity in the face of adversity.
The story of a Bosnian refugee family Wien: Dachs, In this book she relates her experiences of war in the former Yugoslavia, her childhood in her hometown of Zvornik on the Drina River - which is not lost to her - and her escape, the confusion. Her contacts to her friends in Bosnia with whom she went to school - whether Serb or Muslim children - are not broken off. This book deserves particular attention not only because of its current relevance - about which the media is full of necessarily one-sided and short journalistic reports. Here is a report of the personal experiences of younger and older people, completely lacking in sensationalism.
They try to understand and survive their involuntary entanglement in the catastrophe of war. There is no mention of the gruesome acts which happened and are still happening, only of the wish of the civil population to live in peace in their homeland. The editor and co-author has included notes of history-making dates and geographical names. Wolfsaga The wolf saga Wien: Herder, ISBN Wolf- Dictatorship - Utopia The great black wolf Schogar Kan, stronger than all the other wolf leaders, wants to create heaven on earth for his pack.
He wants there to be only one great pack of wolves whose lives and survival is to be ensured with force against the rest of nature and other animals. He tolerates no opposition. Fighting and war crop up in Arcadia. Nonetheless or precisely because of it, the dictatorship must fall. His negative utopia of life, based on despotism, stands in contrast to the traditional, nature-given rules and to Waka, the eternal laws of creation. Schogar Kan is not conquered by counterforce, but rather loses his power through the gentle art of persuasion of a weaker one.
In this narrative the author portrays the laws which nature herself has created. The animals decide for or against anti-nature and violence in the form of the great wolf and bear the consequences of their decision. Kathe Recheis impressively presents a mighty question here. With her protagonists of her saga of the natural world she dreams of an ideal, and above all of an achievable ideal world.
Wir leben gern bei euch zuhaus We would like to live at your house Wien: Betz, If the proper minimal prerequisites and attitudes are present and proper care is given - as demonstrated here for twelve of the most common and beloved European house pets in text and pictures - both children and adults can have pleasure in a lively and healthy pet without pangs of conscience. This is set out in an informative and detailed manner in this picture book which is suitable even for smaller children.
At least that is how it used to be. The word "education" is not part of the Tuvinian language. Children learn the rules of behavior for specific situations as part of a group; everything else is learned by listening, observing, imitating and helping. The most important beings in the life and surroundings of the young narrator are his "grandmother," an unknown older woman who came once upon a time into the tent village. Ail, and stayed on because the child "chose" her and they no longer wanted to part, and the dog Arsylang, leader of the pack and their faithful companion, "my brother-instead-of- a-brother" as the author calls him.
The climax and end of this narrator's childhood is a long hard winter which the little family barely manages to survive along with a very few of their herd. For the dog Arsylang the new period, with its technical possibilities, brings a fateful danger when he eats the poison that the father sets out for the maraurading predators. The enormous force of the text lies in its long "inner wind," which challenges the imagination and con- veys the rhythm of tension and restfulness in the life of the Ail. The author of this autobiographical memoir, Galsan Tschinag, was born into a Tuvinian family of nomadic animal-herders in the Mongolian People's Repubulic in He studied German in East Germany between and , and wrote this novel in German.
In he was awarded the Adalbert von Chamisso Prize in Munich. Betrayed by his physical appearance, he is beaten up, teased, and finally taken away and sterilized by doctors. His parents are able to save him just before deportation and hide him for many long months in a lonely garden house. Only at the end of the war does he learn that he was a child of gypsies and had been taken in by a foster family. Muscha's story is told from the perspective of another school boy and the reader, as Muscha himself, is kept in the dark about the real grounds for his suffering until the end of the novel.
Only in an epilogue does it become clear that the story of Muscha is absolutely authentic. They are hindered only by the chains which bind them to Happy Juran's caravan wagon.
Though Zadek feels chained up, Mischa has forgotten what freedom is. Only as a bear cub could he run over meadows and rob beehives of honey, before Juran made him into a dancing bear. The two runaways make their dreams come true; now and then one sees them roaming happily through the woods.
The text is pleasing on the one hand for its unsenti- mental portrayal of the sad lot of captive animals and still it offers the most splendid situational comedies which arise from man and animal trying to live together but having only a limited amount of mutual tolerance. Full-sized black-and-white pictures by Reinhard Michi contribute to this reading pleasure. Hanna Johansen has made use of this fact to create a poetic case for the individualists of this world, wherever they may be hiding.
Mother Mole loves her little children, her "closest to her heart little silk worms" as much as any other concerned mother. The little moles get along together, fight and battle with one another, become independent. They dig their own tunnels. The little girl mole, much to her own surprise, even tolerates a guest in her wing of the tunnel once.
And soon she builds a nest of her own and has her own little "closes to her heart silk worms" to take care of, at least for a while. But the story in this book is not quite so thin. There are the most marvelous odors in the mole tunnels, they are crawling with little bugs and insects, "friends" of the moles. That is how the life of a mole is - friends are those you can eat, enemies are those who can eat you. The art of storytelling needs few words, just the right ones. Hanna Johansen uses this art to create new worlds which provide adults and children unexpected, funny and ironical insights into their own world.
Mia, was ist ein Trip? Mia, What is a trip? Mia is a junkie and one day she cannot conceal it from Matthias any longer. His parents forbid him to see her any longer. When he meets her, her condition is already incura- ble. The boy takes on a big project: some- day he will work with drug addicts. Al- though it is quite clearly a problem-centered picture book, conceived in cooperation with the Swiss Central Agency for Addic- tion Prevention, the text and illustrations convey an atmosphere of security in Mat- thias's home as well as the vulnerability of: homeless drug addict.
This book provides an opportunity for discussion and lets even younger children know how dangerous drugs are, but also that in certain cases addicts can be cured. He learns about a region where one can acquire as much land one is able to mark off by walking from sun-up to sundown. He decides to take up this good bargain but overtaxes himself with his march around his future land and dies.
The German version of this Russian has been shortened and adapted for children. The illustrations contain the traditional Russian folk art motifs in richly detailed and yet grandly playful, humorous and brightly colored variations. Interspersed with ironic jabs at the religious practices and everyday life in grand old Russia, there is a new picture world of men, women, angels and animals on each page. Countryside and cities are boxed inside of one another, make-believe maps with cyrillic writing draw attention to themselves. The illustrator Elena Abesinova lives and works today in Kiev.
ISBN 2 94 Clown - Toy - Dream - Personal Property In his dreams a young boy sees a clown dressed in white against an alternately dark yellow and an orange background. On the right side pages the text describes all the things he owns, on the reverse side it tells what he has lost. He had a pink rose He had a purple pair of pants He had a nice red nose But when the clown wakes up the next morning he finds all his treasures gathered around him.
Vivacious and expressive drawings betray the illustrator's gentle humor. She has succeeded in creating an enchanting book for the very young reader. ISBN Art appreciation - Humor - Donkey - Pegasus - Genius - Painting - Self- discovery This humorous picture book deals with a confused young donkey in his painting studio, which is empty except for three cans of paint.
Yet quite unexpectedly he is able to fulfill his painter's ambitions. In the end our donkey perceives himself to be a bud- ding genius, covering not only the canvas but also himself with colorful splats of paint. On wings of joy the pointer flies through the open window, upwards toward the sun. In a simple manner the author and the illustrator succeed in presenting the creative process with all its ups and down. The reader shares in the artist's joy and learns along the way quite coincidentally something about the theory of colors.
ISBN French ed. Boy - Elephant - Friendship - Disguise Hide-and-Seek - Family Conflict Hector takes in an elephant which has esca- ped from the zoo and hides it in his room. To protect his mother from any further sur- prise encounters with the giant animal - she faints each time - Hector tries out different disguises for his charge. But all his efforts prove to be unsuitable.
In this series of slap- stick style surprises which climax in the mother's fainting spell the reader can even image hearing the thump of her fall. Such grotesque inventiveness is great fun! Thanks to his humorful inventiveness we are given a well-paced and diversified glimpse into the life of the French king, life at the royal court, and the origins of the Loire castles. Gaussen cleverly embeds it into the social and historical context of the Renaissance.
This illustrated informative book is designed as a stimulating piece of journalism and owes much to modern techniques of advertising. Divided into numerous short, very different chapters, the eye-catching headlines, the combination of old documents, photomontage, and contemporary caricatures awakens the reader's curiosity. This very new style of disseminating knowledge matches the times best of all. David is filled with the desire for revenge when he learns the fate of his parents at the end of the war. He leaves Paris and the people who had given him a home.
Searching for a new meaning to his life, he takes care of Jewish orphans, falls in love with Sarah, and follows her to Palestine on an adventure-filled crossing of Mediterranean by ship. But Palestine is still under British control. He experiences the hard and anonymous life in the refugee camps and kibbutz, the struggles against the occupying powers. In short, clipped sentences he tells of his bereavement, his anger, his sense of being lost, his inner vacuum. But he is drawn into the tumultuous events around him. His love of literature, his feelings for the totally committed Zionisten Sara, the solidarity of the comrades are highlights in the struggle for survival.
In a final identity crisis, he decides to return to France. Claude Gutman grew up in Israel; his descriptions of the arrival of Jewish refugees and the precarious daily life in Palestine are most impressive. In commemoration, Albin Michel has issued this splendid large-sized volume of fables. Thirty well-known children's book illustrators and comic artists from France and also from other countries were commissioned to contribute illustrations.
Whether traditional or idiosyncratic, their interpretations are extremely stimulating and awaken the well-known teachings of morality and cleverness to new life. The final two pages are particularly humorous. The artists have written and drawn their own biographical sketches. This volume will please both young and old; a must for every library collection. Le loup est revenu! The wolf has returned! Upon receiving this threatening piece of news, various well- known figures of classic fairy tales seek refuge in the rabbit's home.
The very last guest is the bad wolf himself. But all turns out harmoniously with a common vegetarian feast. To top it all off, the wolf tells them scary wolf stories. It makes merry reading for young and old to follow these funny episodes of fairy tale spoofing. Famine: l' arme des tyrans Famine: The weapon of tyrants Paris: Syros, J' accuse! The name of the series is taken from Zola's famous outcry "J' accuse!
Its principle is simple. Two stories frame an extensive documentary middle section. In this case, the first historical report deals with the events in the Ukraine during a great famine in , which was precipitated by the Soviet Union to gain access to power. The author draws on documents and eye-witness accounts of refugees in France and survivors in the Ukraine. The second historical report is a diary of a humanitarian aid project in Kosovo in Because the author succeeds in maintain a distance to the events being described, the reader is able to deal with the gruesome suffering in an objective manner.
The elegant design of the volume contrasts with its content and weakens its effect to some extent. Une nuit, un chat A night, a cat The worried father follows his son secretly and intervenes discretely and unrecognized whenever danger arises. Breathlessly the reader follows Groucho's first adventures in the darkened city, which the illustrator has masterly staged in a series of pictures.
The nighttime scenery, the slanted rooftops, the motionless statues, the threatening shadows are impressive. On secret corners, on the large square, there is an active nightlife for cats. All the cat protagonists are attired in clothing and endowed with the human characteristics. Groucho has a happy and a dangerous encounter.
The next night he goes out again. In this humorous and well- drawn picture book Pommaux succeeds once again in transposing general human experience to the animal world. An unidentifiable monster began to terrorize the inhabitants, stealing sheep and chickens night after night. The case become more and more widely known, a public disgrace, but no solution was found - until by chance months later a large wolf was shot. The story is so lively written that it really seems authentic.
The personalities in this small community in the mountains are superbly characterized, the ups and downs of hope and error make the reader smile. With the help of the pencil drawings and colored prints of the well- known Swiss animal artist Hainard the publisher has succeeded in creating a minor work of art.
With illus. Two children, a boy and a girl, discover page after page the passive role of the woman, who is supposed to be young and beautiful, and the prejudices under which women suffered in past epochs. The lovely, meticulously laid-out book is not only an interesting work on cultural history but also a history of women's liberation. Its unusual perspective deserves particular attention. Somewhere in France there is a boy named Adolf who bears a fatal resemblance to a historical figure. His easy-going parents have no time for him. He leaves home and goes alone into the woods where he meets a group of Neonazis having a wild party and a woman who survived the concentration camps.
Both encounters are nearly fatal. Only when the old woman has explained to him the historical background does he begin to understand. This parable of the unreliability of memory, misleading appearances, and the necessity of passing on historical knowledge is consternating and foiling. The narrative seems to be fragmented, and little Hitler is a tragicomical figure. Nonetheless, or precisely therefore, it is a book which has a feeling of immediacy - enhanced by the style of the illustrations - and forms an important addition to the literature on this subject. With illustrations ISBN X Mythology - Legend This illustrated volume takes an unaccustomed glimpse at the mythology of various cultures and epochs by placing the mythological figures - the heroes - in the foreground.
Two aspects of this work make it especially attractive: first, the term "myth" is interpreted so broadly that no only classic, e. Greek or Germanic, myths are included, but also new, literary ones, such as the heart-breaker Don Giovanni. It would have made sense to include still-living myths of our modern society such as film stars.
He ruled Fiume for nearly a year before escaping due to mandates from the League of Nations backed by the real threat of Italian gunships. D'Annunzio's Fiume adventure would become important for development of Italian fascism. Mussolini and the Fascist Party later parroted the style of D'Annunzio's rule at Fiume with its mixture of public theater and politics.
In terms of style and rhetoric, the influence that D'Annunzio had over Fascism and later over Nazism should not be underestimated. The raised right-hand Roman salute, the skull and crossbones emblem, and black uniforms of the arditi shock troops at Fiume were later copied by Mussolini's Fascist black shirt squads and Hider's Nazi SS. The Cultural Scene In the period prior to unification in to the end of the nineteenth century, Italian life underwent a process of political and economic transformation that also influenced its cultural make-up.
The novel attracted film- makers very early as demonstrated by three silent era adaptations , , and an adaptation by Mario Camerini in Patriotic poet Giosue Carducci expressed many of the idealistic and nationalist impulses in the classical themes and romantic tinges of his poetry. The underlying theme of the work is to instill a sense of moral consciousness in Italian youth in the spirit of the Italian Risorgimento movement.
CoUodi Carlo Lorenzini had been a dedicated follower of Italian repub- lican revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini and a veteran of the Italian wars of unifica- tion. Many of the scientific discoveries that characterize the modern era: the telephone, cinema, radio, electricity, automobile, airplane were actually invented well before WWI including Italian contributions Antonio Meucci's invention of the telephone and Guglielmo Marconi's subsequent inven- tion of the radio. French philosopher August Comte coined the term "positivism" to describe the enthusiasm over discoveries of figures such the English naturalist Charles Darwin and his Origin of the Species and The Origin of Man Discoveries in physics and the physical sciences brought further challenges to reli- gious teachings of cosmology.
These new theories were appreciated in Italy by the burgeoning middle class, which sought to flourish in an economic system based on consumption and development of technological capability. The influence of the new interest in science extended to the arts and literature. The verismo literary movement in Italy of authors such as Sicilian Giovanni Verga concentrated on replicating the scientific approach to social problems in literature through a portrayal of social ills with objective distance.
Vera in Italian means "true. Verismo and Naturalism championed artistic styles that tried to observe reality accurately, and encourage scientific objectivity to stress the causal relation between the environment and characters' actions. Another artistic current in Italy was the Scapigliatura, an Italian translation for the French word boheme, which took its name from a novel by Cletti Arrighi La scapigliatura e il 6 febbraio The most icon- oclastic application of the new scientific influences in Italy was by F.
Marinetti whose Futurist movement arose before WWI. Marinetti's Futurists adapted sci- entific terminology to the arts by idealizing mechanized forms and questioning the relevance of Italy's centuries' old artistic traditions in a rapidly changing world. In his hyperbolic enthusiasm for everything modern Marinetti rejected the past in his manifestos and free verse sound poems such as Zang Tumb Tub He called for the destruction of museums and the glorification of war as the "hygiene of the world"; in fact many of his Futurist followers would expire in WWI.
A most important and influential cultural figure remained Gabriele D'Annunzio whose reach extended from politics to literature, the theater, and even the cinema. D'Annunzio's charismatic political influence was fundamental in the campaign for Italy to enter WWI and later in his adventure at Fiume and influence over Mussolini and Italian fascism.
D'Annunzio was also an exponent of Decadentism, a post-Romantic artistic movement, which exalted an individual artist's sense of refinement and, self-importance with an interest in exotic sensuality and mystery at times bordering on self-destruction. D'Annunzio's flamboyant personality and his ability to adapt artistic currents like Decandentism into an Italian cultural context and beyond made him a pivotal Italian cultural figure in the first half of the twentieth century.
As early as the s, the topic of animation had interested scientists and photographers. British photographer Eadweard Muybridge's zoopraxiscope showed the sequential movements of a galloping horse. Ohio born inventor Thomas Edison developed his kinetoscope and made a sequential film of a sneeze in The Lumiere brothers in France invented their cinematographe and made short fihns that projected aspects of real life, linking film with reality. In , the Edison Kinetoscope made a presentation in Turin. A cinematographic machine had also been developed in Italy.
Also in , a license for a cinematographic instrument for shooting, pro- jection, and developing film was issued for Filoteo Alberini's kinetografo. Alberini, however, did not have sufiBcient capital to develop his project, and the arrival of the Lumieres cinematographe in Italy halted his efforts. The cinematographe Lumiere made its first appearance in Italy in , when Lumiere's Italian representative, Vittorio Calcina, promoted an enthusiastically received show in Milan.
By , permanent cinema halls opened in Rome and in Naples. In , Calcina opened the first successful public cinema hall in Turin. Because of the brevity of the cinematographic shows — maximum minutes — the halls used for such shows integrated films with other performances. Thus, from its origins the Italian cinema shared space with vaudeville music-hall performances and comic sketches, a theatrical practice that would continue into the s.
In the early s, Alberini opened more cinema halls in several Italian cities. Alberini also became one of the first Italian filmmakers. In , he directed The Taking of Rome , the first Italian feature film based on a final episode of Italian unification. Italian cinematographers and projectionists also worked to perfect the documentary format that became a genre favored as a politi- cal tool by the Fascist regime and later during the post-WWII neorealist period.
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Between and , Italian films entered the world market with a variety of genres including slapstick starring Frenchman Andre Deed, known as Cretinetti in Italy, who appeared in over a hundred films pro- duced at the Itala studios in Turin. Gione's incredible facial mimicry, later used to effect by Italian comedian Toto , was dramatized by a special use of light techniques that favored violent contrasts of black and white in order to accentuate the sharpness of his facial features. These performers and others appeared in shorts that were produced on an industrial scale tintil the outbreak of WWI.
There were also melodramas and comedies and even films about everyday life inspired by Italian verismo. By and , the cinema had become an accepted facet of the Itahan entertainment industry. In , the government instituted censorship standards and taxes on both films and tickets. In this period, filmmaking was conducted primarily inside studios with artificial lighting.
Naples became particularly important because of the efforts of Gustavo Lombardo, later of the Titanus production com- pany, who began as a foreign film distributor who founded the magazine Lux in with the intention of increasing the cultural status of the cinema. There were also futurist films such as A. Bragaglia's Thais in accordance with the publication of the Futurist Manifesto on Cinema of the same year, a declaration about experimental cinema in accordance with the futur- ists, desire to find forms of expression that reflected the mechanized and industrial changes in Italy and the world.
The founding of the Cines studios in made Rome one of the centers of the Italian cinema industry. Cines aimed to conquer international film markets with large investments producing about 50 titles per year beginning in One of the most important filmmakers working for Cines was Enrico Guazzoni whose adap- tation of the Henryk Sienkiewicz novel with strong Christian themes Quo Vadis? Despite activity in Rome and even in Venice, Turin was the first capital of the Italian film industry during the silent period.
Turin was the country's industrial cen- ter, home of the Italian automobile industry. A Turin-based production company, Pasquali and Tempo, was rim by Ernesto Maria Pasquali, a journalist and playwright who created the Polidor comic films. Other pro- duction companies in Turin included Ambrosio and Itala Film. Ambrosio succeeded in attracting important directors such as Luigi Maggi, who made the first version of The Last Days of Pompeii , a meter-long film, which became one of the first Italian films to break into the American market.
The Itala studios featured Giovanni Pastrone a director who started his career with comic films and then moved into the historical genre. Cabiria opened with a full orchestra led by respected conductor Manilo Mazza perform- ing the Symphony of Fire theme composed by renowned composer Ildebrando Pizzetti. Instead Cabiria has a hero, Fulvio Axilla, and his shaved-headed, barrel-chested Mussolini-like African servant, Maciste, in a story of a republican-era Rome fighting a rival Mediterranean empire Carthage and a foreign religion Baal or Moloch.
Producers correctly expected Italian audiences in to read the similarities between the Roman victory in the second Punic War over the Baalite Carthaginians and the Italian defeat of an Islamic Turkish empire during the invasion of Libya. Thus besides being a technical and artistic achievement, Cabiria anticipates the political and ideological currents that culminated in the efforts of pro-WWI interventionists such as D'Annunzio and Mussolini, who were instrumental in the decision of the Italian government to enter the War in Casa Ambrosio, a main competitor of Pastrone's Itala studios in Turin, bought the rights to many of D'Annunzio's novels and plays.
Between and at least 21 films of D'Annunzian derivation were produced in Italy. Indeed Pastrone's name does not appear in the open- ing title sequences, giving the impression that the film is entirely D'Annunzio's work. Due to D'Annunzio's influence everything in the film became more florid and bombastic. D'Annunzio derived the name Maciste from the Greek superlative for "Large. The sequences involving Sophonisba are made more exotic by the fact that her death symbolizes the disappearance of an entire civilization.
Carthage is destroyed because Cabiria was not sacrificed to the fire god Moloch. This plot fit into a decadentist discourse where self-annihilation is a culminating erotic experience. Sophonisba's exotic drawing room, smoking incense pots, and statuettes seem like the decorating catalogue for D'Annunzio's home on Lake Garda, the Vittoriale, with an art nouveau or liberty emphasis on rarity, extravagance, luxury, and oriental motifs.
It is an atmosphere that has often been equated with illicit sex, decadence, drugs, and illness, especially in authors such as Andre Huysmans, a source for D'Annunzio. The film's decor and plot exploited the transgressive elements implicit in such a setting and behavior, which was part of D'Annunzio's appeal and mirrored his lifestyle and reputation. But technology and the marvel of machines and inventions, the flash of Futurist propaganda, make an entrance in Cabiria.
D'Annunzian culture was fascinated with light, explosions, and the machine aes- thetics likely borrowed from F. T Marinetti's futurist excitement about mechanized glory. As a pilot during WWI, D'Annunzio had dropped heroic poems over Vienna, a feat that became well documented for it was one of the few examples of individual heroism that could be celebrated in that war.
One scene in Cabiria that appealed to the turn-of-the century romantic fascination with technology is the burning of the Roman fleet at Syracuse by Archimedes's sun-reflecting mirrors. Archimedes's ecstatic joy at his technological genius recalls the later commonplace of the mad scientist who pushes the limits of nature. Besides the technical achievements in portraying Moloch with thousands of extras and the use of high wattage flood-lights to simulate the escaping heat, the Moloch flesh furnace is a voyeuristic marvel, which plays on the primal fears of the specta- tor.
Another of D'Annunzio's screenwriting contributions. In Metropolis , German director Fritz Lang adopted a similar theme when the workers' children are threatened by the break- down of the giant machine also called Moloch that powers the futuristic city. The true star of Cabiria is Maciste, the strong man slave and the brawn to Fulvio's brains.
The direct source of the character is the good giant, Ursus, who protects the Christian slave girl, Licia, in the novel Quo vadis? Turin, the city where Cabiria was produced and largely filmed, was also the epicenter of the Italian automobile industry with its Fordist manufacturing methods.
In the pro-machine, futurist-romanticized culture and in the industrial and technological reality of the twentieth century, the physical body had lost power, particularly in warfare. Ironically, one of the most popular films in the Maciste film series ten such films were produced between and was The Warrior In the film an Itala film troupe is caught behind Austrian lines at the outbreak of the war, providing Bartolomeo Pagano, who plays Maciste, with an opportunity to manhandle extras in Austrian military uniforms. This image of Maciste defeating the enemy in physical combat is emblematic of the divide between official and popular culture and the technological reality of the war.
The Maciste figure has been one of the most enduring in film history from the Italian peplum epics of the s starring Steve Reeves as Hercules to the Hollywood films with Arnold Schwarzenegger as muscular robot in the Terminator series. In the Maciste cycle it was common for Maciste not only to remain removed from any long-term love interest but also to work to reunite young lovers. Cabiria ends with Maciste playing the lute on a honeymoon yacht of Fixlvio and Cabiria with angles flying around the young lovers as they kiss.
The most enduring legacy of Cabiria is the apparent influence that the figure of Maciste had over Benito Mussolini, who would rule Italy as Fascist dictator from to Between and , Mussolini transformed his public image from an anticlerical Socialist revolutionary into the Fascist icon of a naturally powerful tyrant dedicated to the memory and traditions of Roman glory. The physical similarities between the Duce and the personality cult developed in the s around Mussolini and Maciste cannot be casual.
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As Maciste, Bartolomeo Pagano devel- oped a signature gait, with eyes glaring with arms folded and head thrown back, later adopted by Mussolini see figure 1. It is not clear who was the source of 14 ip33? Istituto LUCE newsreels in the s feature MussoUni with a bare chest and shaved head helping farmers to collect grain looking like an aged stunt double for Bartolomeo Pagano's Maciste in Cabiria.
The public image cultivated by Mussolini during the Fascist period as the all powerful Duce could be read as a Maciste-like figure speaking the language of D'Annunzio. Cabiria expressed another potential foxmdational narrative for the newly unified Italian nation of a pre-Christian romanita Romaness , particularly important for the later nationalist cxilture espoused by Mussolini's Fascist regime , which attempted to identify the newly imited Italy with the past glories of ancient Rome.
The film now lost was remade in by CamUlo Mastrocinque with Vittorio De Sica in the role of a blind gentleman who helps an unfortunate girl. Another Neapolitan, Elvira Notari, made approximately 60 films between and Notari was inspired by themes of the everyday life of the common peo- ple of Naples, especially of women, dealing with their passions and unhappiness.
An important diva was Francesca Bertini, who began her career in the theater and then moved on to the cinema to work for the Film d'Arte Production Company in Naples. Bertini's best-known work is Assunta Spina , an adaptation of a play by Neapolitan poet and dramatist Salvatore Di Giacomo The film, which Bertini codirected with Gustavo Serena, has been praised for the manner in which the details of everyday life in Naples are presented in an unadorned fashion.
These include her violent tempered fiance Michele, his jealous rival the ne'er-do-well Raffaele, and the corrupt court official Federico who convinces Assunta to accept his sexual advances in exchange for the chance to see Michele in prison. The turning point of the drama occurs when Michele slashes Assunta's face and is sentenced to two years in prison despite Assunta's attempt during his trial to accept blame for his actions. When Michele is released and kills Federico, Assunta takes the blame for the murder, her tragedy complete. The character of the long-suffering female was well established in the operatic tra- dition in works such as La traviata, Manon Lescalt, or La Bohenie to mention only a few nineteenth-century operas that feature doomed female protagonists.
Films such as Bertini's Assunta Spina established the cinema as a venue for what would become the strappalacrime weepie or tearjerker melodrama. Pastrone's Cabiria had provided Maciste, a character who may be interpreted as a metaphor for Italian nationalistic impulses. The suicidal princess Sophonisba in Cabiria is emblematic of the influence of trends such as decadentism and European high art in Italian consciousness see figure 1. In contrast, Assunta Spina represents a more humble sphere in everyday Italian society.
Assunta is identified with the bare streets of Naples often appearing under a portrait of the Madonna with child in her room. She is deceived and brutalized by the immature males in her life and responds with self-sacrificial fatalism. In , just before Italy's entry into WWI the Italian film industry produced 90 feature-length films and penetrated world markets, including the United States, where films such as Pastrone's Cabiria enjoyed long runs and wide distribution.
After WWI the Italian film industry lost its position in world markets, a fate shared in countries like France, which also had vibrant prewar film industries. The political and economic situation was extremely tense with strikes, demonstrations, and the reduction of the value of middle-class savings between and When universal male suffrage was granted in Italy in and competition began for the new voters. Catholic forces entered into politics with Don Sturzo's Partita Popolare after the lifting of the reruni novarum, the papal encyclical prohibiting Catholic participation in politics.
However the events that would bring Italy under Fascist totalitarian rule were already in motion. He resigned as editor of the chief Socialist newspaper Avanti out of frustration at the Socialist Party's refusal to support Italian intervention in WWI. In the political uncertainty and civil unrest following WWI, Mussolini formed his own organiza- tion, the Fascist Party, which eventually aligned with the nationalists.
The election saw gains for the Socialists and the Catholic Popolari. Yet the two parties were unable to form a coalition. For the next election, Mussolini moved further to the political Right so that his platform had more in common with the policies of a conservative, moderate government — fiscal restraint, law and order and a nationalist foreign policy.
Mussolini also made concessions to the Socialists by promising to form Fascist worker and farmer unions in order to position his Fascist Party for a dominant role in Italian politics. In and the economic crisis that had followed the end of the war wors- ened and the continuing strikes and political unrest were not suppressed by the last moderate government. The Socialists feared Allied military intervention in the event of a Marxist revolution as had occurred in Russia in In late , Mussolini's Fascists began a campaign of political violence, at times with the appar- ent consent of public safety officials.
According to Fascist propaganda between and , Mussolini prevented a Bolshevik-style totalitarian revolution from taking place in Italy.
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In reality. Fascism brought the end of representative parliamentary government and the institution of Fascist totalitarian dictatorship. The ruling elite allowed and even encouraged Mussolini to enter into the government who was viewed as a milder, more controllable alternative to D'Annunzio, fresh fi-om his Fiume adventure.
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 and his theories on the effectiveness of political violence and dema- goguery to mold public opinion.
Marinetti's iconoclastic call for spontaneity, impulse, and violence fostered a sense of bravado amorality as did Freidrich Nietzsche , with his reading of the Judeo-Christian tradition as slave morality. But Fascism also had anti-bourgeois elements, holdovers from Mussolini's days as a Socialist revolutionary. The diffidence toward the upper middle class may be interpreted in the light of Oswald Spengler's reading of Western decadence, which in turn owed much to Darwinian theories on natural competi- tion. The Fascists, as D'Annunzio's Fiume volimteers before them, saw themselves as Darwinian agents whose violence coxald be rationalized as a consequence of their strength and audacity.
Of course it is easy to dress up in philosophical and cultural terms what may have actually been a generational conflict between Fascist black shirt squads whose fight song Giovinezza Youth was directed against their aging liberal. Catholic, monarchist or Socialist fathers. But a series of rifts in the Socialist leadership led to the formation of the Italian Communist Party in by Antonio Gramsci The division of the Italian Left into opposing factions rendered it incapable of profiting from the political and economic situation.
The government, led by the Liberal Party, failed to secure a peaceful solution and Italians responded to Mussolini's call for a return to law and order. The middle and property-owning classes were fearfiil that these difficult economic and political conditions could lead to a revolution patterned on the Russian Bolshevik revolution. The situ- ation was ripe for an opportunistic and decided leader like Mussolini to impose his will and his Fascist Party on the nation. A pivotal event was the decision by the Fascist leadership to march from their party congress in Naples to Rome in October Once in Rome, parading Fascists occupied the post office and other government buildings.
Support for the Fascists grew and in October of MussoHni was asked by the king to replace Luigi Facta as prime minister, perhaps unaware that he had just invited in a dictatorship that would last 21 years. Mussolini's appeal was based mainly on his promise of a "return to law and order," an end to strikes and the "fear of Bolshevism," a reassurance to the new middle class that they would not become "proletariarized," and finally, a promise that through dedication to military virtues Italy could become a Great Power reevoking the Roman Empire.
An important first step in the Fascist promulgation of the totalitarian state was the Acerbo Bill, which guaranteed the party receiving most votes in an election two-thirds of the seats in parliament. In , the Fascists attained a majority in parliament using a proportional representation law, which in various guises has continued sporadically to be a feature of the Italian parliamentary system. Mussolini's early policies appeased politicians who had acceded to his inclusion in government. In a speech to parliament in , Mussolini accepted responsibility for Fascist violence, a moment that commenta- tors have seen as the moment of the beginning of Fascist totalitarian dictatorship.
The Fascist movement thus led the country to dictatorship with the banning of opposition political parties after an attempt on Mussolini's life in Yet Mussolini was careful not to alienate the previous governing establishment, and to this end the Fascist Party slowly purged itself of its most violent black shirt, revolutionary elements. Mussolini fur- ther secured his position, appeasing Catholic sentiment by signing the Lateran accords in , creating the independent status of the Vatican under the gover- nance of the Catholic Church, and establishing Roman Catholicism as the official state religion, quite a jump from Mussolini's early days as an anticlerical agitator.
The Fascist system of Corporatism, which developed gradually and finally crystal- lized into the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations in , professed to be a sys- tem in which political representation was based not on residence, but on occupation whether in agriculture, transport, manufacturing, or self-employed professionals. Supposedly such a system would have eliminated class conflict.
But in practice Corporatism allowed the Fascist Party to maintain rigid control over the unions eliminating Catholic and Socialist union groups , while favoring busi- ness interests. By accepting a right-wing revolution in , the governing establishment underestimated Mussolini's abilities from his past as a journalist and communica- tor. Other historians noted that the republican ideology of Mazzini's Risorgimento had never been a mass movement but was instead directed and con- trolled by an elite whose hold on popular consciousness was weak and who were overly dependent on Garibaldi's charisma, the Piedmontese monarchy, and its able prime minister Cavour.
The regime's policy of exiling political dissidents, among them writers such as Cesare Pavese and Carlo Levi, furthered the formation of a conformist society that perpetuated Fascist rule. The Fascist years did bring changes for large segments of the population, particularly in demographic and economic terms. Despite the restrictions of the regime, the s evidenced a movement toward urban, modern life characterized by a growth in consumer culture and sports attitudes perhaps best reflected in the romantic comedies directed by Mario Bonnard or Mario Camerini.
Sociologically these trends began with the movement toward the cities, an internal migration away from the countryside caused by demographic increases. Mussolini did achieve some successes in controlling the economy during the Great Depression. The regime oversaw the draining of marshes and the propagandistic high point of improving transportation scheduling — "making the trains run on time.
Fascism awarded a structural bureaucratic approach to economic and social wealth. It was the culture of clientilismo political patronage rather than the entrepreneurial verve that had characterized Italian economic development in the early part of the century by bourgeois industrialist families. The totalitarian nature of Fascist government expanded with MussoHni's restrictions on freedom of the press and his autarkic policies of national self-sufficiency, which relieved the public of the responsibility of involvement in governmental or economic deci- sions.
The world economic crisis of the s brought even more state control with the formation of large state-run industrial holding companies the IMI, the IRI, postwar ENI , and a national pension system the INPS created in to the point that by the late s Fascist Italy rivaled Soviet Russia for the level of state involvement in the economy. In response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the League of Nations instituted economic sanctions on trade with Italy. Films from the late s like Mario Camerini's U Signor Max have references to the consumption of embar- goed foreign products as unpatriotic.
Mussolini's regime reacted by turning fur- ther inward and instituted economic and cultural politics known by the catch word autarchia autarky or self-sufficiency. The regime policy of national eco- nomic self-sufficiency or autarky had already been evoked in attempts to resolve a grain shortage with the Battle of Grain in , even turning some city parks into grain fields.
The Battle of the Lira and the freezing of exchange rates for the Italian lira with major currencies such as the British Sterling at quota novanta ninety lire per British pound and the Battle of Gold were further autarkic attempts to stop the rienforce the national currency, the lira. After the conclusion of the war in Ethiopia May and before the Pact of Munich May and alliance with Hitler's Nazi Germany, Mussolini declared a period of peace, which was well received by the populace.
In September of , Mussolini's Fascist regime passed the leggi razziali racial statutes , which prohibited Jews from inter- marriage, attending public schools, holding public office. There were even limits put on the amount of real estate that an Italian Jew could possess in his own country.
When university professors were required to sign a loyalty oath and join the party, few gave up their chairs and refused. Some intellectuals who rose to prominence in the postwar period have subsequently been embarrassed by the reappearance of syco- phantic letters to Mussolini or by evidence of concrete ties to the regime, although many cultural figures including Luigi Pirandello, Giuseppe Ungaretti and Carlo Emilio Gadda were at times supporters of the regime during periods of the ventennio.
Fascism originally had Utopian and anti-bourgeois elements, held over from Mussolini's days as a Socialist revolutionary. Once in power, Mussolini was careful not to alienate the upper class and the establishment. By the s, Fascist high functionaries aspired to noble titles to legitimize their position in society. The Fascist gerarchi leadership gained ever-closer ties to the upper echelons of Italian society best demonstrated by the showy wedding in between Mussolini's daughter Edda and Count Galeazzo Ciano, the son of an industrialist who had flown missions with D'Annunzio in WWI.
Ciano later became head of Mussolini's press office in , a position upgraded to the Undersecretariat for the Press and Propaganda in The position eventually came a separate ministry, the Ministry of Cixlture and Propaganda Miniculpop , which oversaw an agreement reached with the United States for the limitation of Hollywood film exports to Italy to films per year. Despite the desire of Fascist officials for aristocratic legitimacy, the regime did have an anti-aristocratic policy, at least linguistically.
The campaign to require the second person plural voi as the common form of address instead of the feudal and feminine third person singular Lei was at its height in with complete substi- tution promulgated in This linguistic policy aimed to democratize Italian speech and create a Fascist culture that would not accept the feudal feminine forms of address.
Between and and after , Italian regional dialects were featured and even encour- aged in films. The ItaUan practice of dubbing foreign films, rather than distributing them with subtitles began in shortly after the introduction of sound technology to film. Italian intellectuals such as Elio Vittorini and Cesare Pavese cultivated an image of America as a source of anti-Fascist culture. There was a demographic cam- paign of tax benefits for large families. Mussolini's Duce personality cult mimicked cultural commonplaces from ancient Rome. In order to instill a sense of national identity and prestige in Italian popular culture, children and teenagers were enlisted in youth groups such as the Balilla, the figli e figlie della lupa sons and daughters of the she wolf , Avanguardisti for teenage males , and Giovani Italiane young Italian girls.
Such groups are depicted ironically in films such as FeUini's Amarcord Spectator sports had been immensely important in the ideology of Mussolini's regime. With a boxing heavyweight world champion, Primo Camera in , and two World Cup soccer victories in and , Mussolini trumpeted the return of the ancient virtue of the Italian people and commissioned stadiums and public sports culture. The equation of athletics with nationalism made its way to films including depictions of fascist university games in Mario Bonnard's lo sua padre , — a film adaptation of an Alba De Cespedes novel.
There was also interest in the record setting and technological culture. Minister Italo Balbo made a record setting flight by piloting a squadron to Chicago in Tazio Nuvolari had a remarkable career as a race car driver in the increasingly popular formula 1 and Mille Miglia automobile rally races around the Italian peninsula.
Bicycle rac- ing was also immensely popular, rivaling soccer in popularity, with the exploits of champions such as Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali firing popular imagination in races such as the Giro d'ltalia Tour of Italy. Sporting events were transmitted by the Italian state radio instituting a popular element in national culture.
Italy's first Nobel Prize for literature after nationalist poet Giosue Carudcci was won by Sardinian novelist Grazia Deledda in Yet, a literary figure who continued to yield huge influence during the Fascist period remained Gabriele D'Annunzio D'Annunzio was strongly opposed to a bour- geois state, preferring the old aristocracy of birth and means, the only class that, in his view, had any cultural validity and understood his poetic need to defend his visions of beauty and genius. D'Annunzio had also been able to identify himself with patriotism and militarism, a mantle he had appropriated after the death of poet Giosue Carducci.
Equally important for his controversial views of the world and of man in this particularly critical time of Italian life is Luigi Pirandello , a true innovator in world theatrical history. Pirandello won the Nobel Prize for literature in His strong philosophical pessimism, by which human unhappiness is not so much a consequence of the social system, but of human nature, brought him to accept Fascism and dictatorship as the least possible evil in order to control the evil of human nature. Pirandello saw man as unable to break out of his tragic soli- tude or to communicate with others or even with himself.
The only way of escape is either madness or a painful form of resignation. Pirandello's theatrical works like Six Characters in Search of an Author used traditional schemes, charac- ters, and situations, but within such schemes, the action always transgresses and criticizes the traditional system of thought and behavior. Another important writer was the Trieste-born author Italo Svevo who dabbled in psychoanalysis and took English lessons from a young James Joyce, then living in the Adriatic port city of Trieste.
Svevo's masterpiece The Confessions ofZeno underlines the frailty of the individual. For many of these authors the Fascist period was a period of reflection and preparation for intellectual production after WWII. Other artists, like still Ufe painter Giorgio Morandi , who also enjoyed increased recognition after WWII, kept to their craft choosing subject matter which could not provoke the regime.
During the Fascist period, it remained possible for authors to write and publish even if they were not open supporters of the regime, as long as their works did not contain explicit political attacks. In fact censorship on literary works was not as severe as on the press, for example, for the regime actively discouraged not only publication of articles critical of the govern- ment but even crime beat reporting, which could besmirch the propaganda of the new "Fascist era. The outbreak of WWI in interrupted this vital period of Italian filmmaking and initiated a critical period of stasis so that in the s Italy lost much of its prewar interna- tional market share.
American film studios began to arrive in Italy to make their films on loca- tion and to take advantage of Italian expertise and craftsmanship. MGM filmed the first version of Ben Hur in the Cines studios in Rome and other Hollywood film studios also opened production and distribution offices in Italy. Unlike Russian dictator Joseph Stalin or German dictator Adolf Hitler who had moved to support filmmaking, Mussolini was initially interested in newsreels for the propagation of his personality cult. It was also the year of the lowest production 14 features since the early days of the cinema.
The themes and style of the contemporary Italian national cinema truly begin in this period and the regime's attitudes toward the cinema changed accordingly. By the mid- s, Mussolini was identified with a placard proclaiming that the cinema was V arma piii forte the strongest weapon , although it has not been established that Mussolini ever actu- ally made the statement.
Mussolini's son Vittorio took an active interest in pro- ducing and screenwriting as well as editing the journal Cinema. The regime also added the Centra Sperimentale di Cinematografia CSC film school in Rome in order to further develop the national film industry. Joining him in lecturing were Umberto Barbaro , Alessandro Blasetti , and Francesco Pasinetti In the same year, Cinecitta Cinemacity , one of the world's largest film studios, was inaugurated by Mussolini in Rome for the development of a national film industry to bring the culture of Rome to the world. The Italian professional cinema of the late s became a training ground for postwar Italian film directors.
In only 32 films were produced in Italy and Hollywood studios enjoyed nearly three-fourths of the Italian market, compared with only 13 per- cent for Italian productions.
With trade barriers against Hollywood films, by , the number of Italian films produced increased to 1 17 with Italian production accounting for over 50 percent of the domestic market. But the regime's demands did not equal those of the Nazi government on the German film industry or Soviet demands on Russian filmmakers. On the whole, the regime encouraged Italian directors to make films that depicted Italian life in a positive light. However intellectuals including Luigi Chiarini, Umberto Barbaro, and Francesco Pasinetti were able to continue their discussions of film theory in journals like Bianco e nero.
Film directors who did not wish to blatantly praise the regime could make films that were politically "neutral" or that had elements that indirectiy appealed to the regime's political agenda such as Pietro Micca , a film directed by Aldo Vergano and written by Sergio Amidei about the Piedmontese defense against a French invasion in the early s in which a humble miner blows himself up in order to deliver Turin.
Alessandro Blasetti One avenue by which directors could avoid explicitly criticizing Fascism was the historical or pseudo-historical spectacular film, a genre with a long tradition in Italy, going back to Cabiria and The Last Days of Pompeii. Probably the best rep- resentatives of the s historical dramas trumpeting the heroic and nationalis- tic values dear to Fascist culture ministers are the early films of Alessandro Blasetti.
Like many Italian directors Blasetti started his career as a critic and jour- nalist. Blasetti was influenced by the reaction against the Idealist philosophy of Benedetto Croce, which criticized technical elements in artistic expression. Once Blasetti became a director, he borrowed from the for- malists, particularly in terms of camera angles and shots that depicted a strong relationship between characters and their natural surroundings. Sole was hailed as a rebirth for Italian cinema.
The film focused on seemingly nonprofessional actors and popular themes, techniques that would become trademarks of the famed neorealist period in the s. Blasetti's career during the Fascist period is remarkable for its depth and variety. After his silent debut with Sole, Blasetti made Nerone a collection of the work of comedian Ettore Petrolini , which included the Bravo, grazie!
Well done, thank you! Blasetti also excelled in costume dramas like the Renaissance era drama Ettore Fieraniosca depicting the dis- fida di Barletta the skirmish between Italian and French knights at Barletta , based on a novel by Massimo D'Azeglio. In filmmakers were invited by the Fascist regime to commemorate the decennale, the tenth anniversary of Mussolini's accession to power with the March on Rome. Blasetti's contribution to the commemorative celebration of the regime is a film that offers some stylistic similarities to the neorealist films of the postwar period for the use of nonprofessional actors, on location shooting, and a focus on lower-class characters see figure 2.
In the counter- parts of Manzoni's Renzo and Lucia are the Sicilian couple Carmelo and Gesuzza, who postpone their wedding when the German speaking mercenary troops of the Bourbon regime invade their Sicilian village. Padre Costanzo from plays a role similar to Manzoni's heroic priest Fra' Cristoforo by providing moral leader- ship and a plan for the young man to escape.
In Manzoni's novel. The Betrothed, Renzo the inexperienced country lad enters Milan, a city where the laws and customs he is accustomed to no longer apply. In Carmelo makes a similar voyage into northern Italy, first to Civitavecchia and later to Genoa. Rather than the bread riots of Manzoni's novel, Carmelo is confused by the myriad voices of Italy's different political factions.
He meets a pro-republican Mazzinan, a papist Giobertian, a Tuscan who favors regional autonomy, ecstatically singing Piedmontese troops, and republicans who argue about the primacy of Italian patriots such as CamiUo Cavour or Massimo D'Azeglio. Each of these members of Garibaldi's contingent in the film represents a faction of the future Italy: Catholics, republicans, monarchists, and above all the different regions of Italy identified by accent and mannerism.
Garibaldi as men of providence whose charisma could unify the diverse forces behind a common cause. The film focuses on a small town split between Fascist and anti-Fascist factions culminating in the death of Mario, a twelve-year-old boy at the hands of anti-Fascists, an event which Blasetti presents as a part of the build up to the Fascist March on Rome in Like the commonplace of the defense of children provides the ration- ale for action, although depictions of the near civil war level of violence of the period in Blasetti's film is limited to a few scenes of street fighting and forced- feeding of cod liver oil.
Propaganda ministers, such as Alessandro Pavolini, did not openly object to the creation of a parallel between the Fascist March on Rome and Garibaldi's impresa dei mille in P However Old Guard was initially received coolly by Fascist officials during a period as the regime was more inter- ested in depicting Fascism's imperial aspirations than its revolutionary origins.
In fact the film was released because Mussolini apparently enjoyed the film immensely. The fact that Old guard received a lukewarm government reception is indicative of some of the changes and contradictions undergone by Fascism and the party since the rad- ical revolutionary period of portrayed in the film.
The case of Old Guard gives an idea of the line to be treaded by directors dur- ing the Fascist years, even by those making pro-Fascist films such as Blasetti. Direct portrayals of Fascism were actually somewhat rare in 1 s Italian cinema. In Forzano's film an amnesiac blacksmith is brought back to his senses when reminded of catch-phrases from the March on Rome. In this film, an Italian communist deserter in WWI changes his politics and sacrifices himself for the Fascist cause just before the March on Rome. The small number of dramas directly portraying Fascism indicates that filmmakers and producers prudently preferred to dress political themes in histor- ical garb.
Indirect portrayals of the regime blurred the manner in which the Fascists attained power and helped to avoid the threat of censorship. Although many directors worked in the genre, the director most identified with this type of film is Mario Camerini However it was in the romantic and sentimental comedies that Camerini made his mark.
His first films as director. Jolly is the tragic story of a clown's love affair with a plot much like Fellini's La strada In Camerini wrote a brief article that recommended using inexperi- enced actors because of their tendency to follow direction more closely than professional actors. Camerini also reveals an admiration for the style of Soviet formalists specifically mentioning Vsevolod Pudovkin's Film Technique.
Thus Camerini had direct contact with the Hollywood style and cultural conventions centered on the sentimental treat- ment of a good deed rewarded with a happy ending. The husband assumes the identity of the governor and the natural imbalance caused by the governor's abuse of power is overturned for a happy ending. Mussolini wanted to prohibit the release of the film, but after the intervention of culture minister Alessandro Pavolini and severe cuts, the film was released in a minute version.
De Sica developed the Camerini romantic comedy model with his career-long collaborator, screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, another figure of pivotal importance in postwar Italian cinema, whose career began with Camerini. The benign depictions of social tensions resolved in the Hollywood tradition of the happy ending in light comedies like It Signor Max and Doctor Beware could be seen as indication of the anni del con- senso period. In Doctor Beware, three love interests vie for the attention of an irre- sponsible pediatrician played by De Sica.
Anna Magnani plays Loretta, a fast talking and fast living show girl. Adriana Benetti, who would also star in Blasetti's Four Steps in the Clouds is a poor orphan girl who eventually wins the doctor's heart and Irasem Dilian is the spoiled daughter of a rich mattress manufacturer. The film has undertones of real social commentary. There is a dire depiction of Teresa working under the lustful eye of a butcher to the vapid frivolity of the rich girl aptly named Lilli Passalacqua Lilly PasstheWater , or the manner in which Teresa is spied upon by one of her fellow orphans, or the reliance as a universal cure all by the pediatricians at the orphanage on cod liver oil, a supplement with political overtones from its use to publicly humiliate Mussolini's opponents dur- ing Fascism's revolutionary period.
Films like Doctor Beware were important for the later development of the commedia alVitaliana comedy Italian style of the s and '60s which would rekindle the technical ability shown by De Sica to pro- vide quick and efficient characterizations that supplied often devastatingly ironic social commentary in a comic setting. Precursors of Neorealism Some films of the s had a production style and thematic content that presaged many pre-neorealist themes of the s, especially those deriving from the natu- ralistic or verismo currents in Italian literature.
One of the most important inno- vations of the journals Bianco e Nero and Cinema was that they both called for a more realistic film style in articles theoretical enough to avoid censorship. In short, the Cinema group wanted to rejuvenate Italian cin- ema by modeling it after Verga's prose. In , Leo Longanesi, a fervent Fascist journalist who reportedly coined the expression "Mussolini is always right," wrote about the ideal film style of taking the camera into the streets to observe reality, a statement similar to those expressed by Cesare Zavattini, the later theoretician of the neorealist style of the s.
By the early s, the idea of neorealism as a style of cinema was gaining a strong foothold. Umberto Barbaro published an article entitled "Neorealismo" in the review Film in Such films did not accept distinctions between documentary and fictional film narratives. Visconti was born into the Milanese aris- tocracy in The Visconti name stands alongside other great ruling families in Italian history such as Delia Scala and the Medici.
Luchino enthusiastically devel- oped his cultural and artistic interest in theater and opera.