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Elena Past

Nov 4, 2019

Italian Ecocinema

Beyond the Human

Indiana University Press 2019

purchase at Elena Past’s recently published Italian Ecocinema: Beyond the Human (Indiana University Press, 2019) studies a complex of issues surrounding on-location films made in Italy and the way their production leaves lasting, material traces on the environment. The films span a number of regions and ecospheres within Italy: the Adriatic, site of the petrochemical wastelands in Antonioni’s Red Desert; the Neapolitan hinterland’s toxic waste dump in Garrone’s Gommora; the plight of an outlander goatherd in the Italian alps in Diritti’s The Wind Blows Round; the Calabrian mountains in Frammartino’s Le quattro volte; and the volcanoes of the Aeolian Islands in Taviani’s Fughe e approdi/Return to the Aeolian Islands. Past explores pressing environmental questions as well as the partnerships and collaborations of film crews, local protagonists (including human and non-human animals), and the environment as she works to bring the “matter” of cinema, its material side, into the production of its meaning.
Ellen Nerenberg is a founding editor of g/s/i-gender/sexuality/Italy and reviews editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. Recent scholarly essays focus on serial television in Italy, the UK, and North America; masculinities in Italian cinema and media studies; and student filmmakers. Her current book project is La nazione Winx: coltivare la futura consumista/Winx Nation: Grooming the Future Female Consumer, a collaboration with Nicoletta Marini-Maio (forthcoming, Rubbettino Editore, 2020). She is President of the American Association for Italian Studies.

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