Stardom, Italian Style

Stardom, Italian Style

Screen Performance and Personality in Italian Cinema
Marcia Landy
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/27/2008
Format: Paperback 35 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22008-0
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Marcia Landy examines the history of Italian celebrity culture and ponders the changing qualities of stardom in the 20th and 21st centuries. She considers the historical conditions for the rise of stardom in the context of various media, from the silent era to contemporary media, tracking how stardom shapes national and international identities.

The phenomenon of the diva in the early European cinema, the invention of new stars in the sound cinema, the postwar impact on stardom through the introduction of changing forms of narration in popular genres, and the contributions to the changing faces of stardom through the films and the personas of such auteurs as Rosselini, Visconti, Fellini, and Pasolini are examined in Stardom, Italian Style. Landy's genealogy of Italian star images identifies their connections to social history, landscape and geography, conceptions of femininity and masculinity, the physical and virtual body, regionalism, technology, and leisure.

Author Bio

Marcia Landy is Distinguished Service Professor of English/Film Studies with a secondary appointment in the Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. Her books include Monty Python's Flying Circus; Stars (edited with Lucy Fischer); The Historical Film; Italian Film; Queen Christina (with Amy Villarejo); and Fascism in Film: The Italian Commercial Cinema, 1931–1943.


“Marcia Landy has produced a wonderful and in many ways path-breaking examination of the history of Italian stardom from silent film to the present. . . . The book is rich in stimulating observations and thought-provoking propositions. As with other works by Professor Landy it is the fruit of an ideal blend of theoretical insights and historically grounded film analysis.”
 — Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University

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Table of Contents


1. Eloquent Bodies: The Cinema of Divismo
2. The Stars Talk
3. Stars amidst the Ruins: The Old and the New
4. Popular Genres and Stars
5. Starring Directors and Directing Stars: The Cinematic Landscape and Its Changing Bodies
Epilogue: An End to Stardom?
A Postscript