It is our aim to investigate the birth and development of this relationship between childhood dream and war, tracing firstly the narrative philogenesis, where inspiration came from literature, from the already flourishing world of illustration or the rising national toy industry, and from Italian and European film productions before the war. We shall then move to exploring the philogenesis of the icons generated, which found their origins and development in the way that the psychological thought of the time interpreted the involuntary imagery created in the mind of the subject. The films above mentioned visualised the “subjective dream scene” through patterns of representation and culture that were inevitably influenced by that scientific culture as well, which in the same period had focused on the dream as one of its main areas of study, often comparing it with the work of films on the mind of the spectator. More specifically to learn about dreams, their mechanism, to analyse the relationship between the dream and external stimuli or memory were objectives largely shared, between the 19th and 20th centuries, among experimental psychology, psychophysiology, the rising psychoanalysis and neurology. The level of attention given to dreams by those disciplines was actually part of a wider interest in psychic phenomenons (inductive hypnosis, automatism, hallucinations, eidetic visions, etc..) hardly under the control of the subject and highly problematic in the way they altered the concept of reality and the basics of perception. Such scientific interest was far from the theories of Freud, which were yet to be considered by the cinema of that time, and rather closer to interpretations of the dream as seen by psychophysiology and neuropathology. In the above mentioned films the staging of dreams seems to be influenced by these scientific interests in automatisms of the psyche. It is in fact as if the impossibility of seeing the war scene straight and clearly, which was obviously the case with children, left open an empty space that the dream would fill up - automatically, inevitably, and involuntarily. The feeling induced by the tale of war in the protagonist was thus like the film image destined to reemerge in dreams or hallucinations of the patients of neurologist Giuseppe Abundo even if of indirect experience, fantastic, yet vibrant and overwhelming (like a film, or a dramatic letter), would fuel involuntary reactions of the unconscious. This situation will later be revolutionised by the next European wars, from the Spanish War to WWII, in the way that they confused completely the area of pertinence of war operations and that of civilian life. Consequently making the image of the little boy who sleeps in front of his toys who fight wars for him, of whim Gibelli speaks, part of an obsolete imaginary, forever attached to narrative and iconic forms of WWI.

"Dream Little Boy, Dream of War!" Children, Dreams and imaginary War Scenery in Italian Fiction Cinema of WWI

ALOVISIO, Silvio
2016

Abstract

It is our aim to investigate the birth and development of this relationship between childhood dream and war, tracing firstly the narrative philogenesis, where inspiration came from literature, from the already flourishing world of illustration or the rising national toy industry, and from Italian and European film productions before the war. We shall then move to exploring the philogenesis of the icons generated, which found their origins and development in the way that the psychological thought of the time interpreted the involuntary imagery created in the mind of the subject. The films above mentioned visualised the “subjective dream scene” through patterns of representation and culture that were inevitably influenced by that scientific culture as well, which in the same period had focused on the dream as one of its main areas of study, often comparing it with the work of films on the mind of the spectator. More specifically to learn about dreams, their mechanism, to analyse the relationship between the dream and external stimuli or memory were objectives largely shared, between the 19th and 20th centuries, among experimental psychology, psychophysiology, the rising psychoanalysis and neurology. The level of attention given to dreams by those disciplines was actually part of a wider interest in psychic phenomenons (inductive hypnosis, automatism, hallucinations, eidetic visions, etc..) hardly under the control of the subject and highly problematic in the way they altered the concept of reality and the basics of perception. Such scientific interest was far from the theories of Freud, which were yet to be considered by the cinema of that time, and rather closer to interpretations of the dream as seen by psychophysiology and neuropathology. In the above mentioned films the staging of dreams seems to be influenced by these scientific interests in automatisms of the psyche. It is in fact as if the impossibility of seeing the war scene straight and clearly, which was obviously the case with children, left open an empty space that the dream would fill up - automatically, inevitably, and involuntarily. The feeling induced by the tale of war in the protagonist was thus like the film image destined to reemerge in dreams or hallucinations of the patients of neurologist Giuseppe Abundo even if of indirect experience, fantastic, yet vibrant and overwhelming (like a film, or a dramatic letter), would fuel involuntary reactions of the unconscious. This situation will later be revolutionised by the next European wars, from the Spanish War to WWII, in the way that they confused completely the area of pertinence of war operations and that of civilian life. Consequently making the image of the little boy who sleeps in front of his toys who fight wars for him, of whim Gibelli speaks, part of an obsolete imaginary, forever attached to narrative and iconic forms of WWI.
THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918: THE FIRST WAR IN IMAGES
Girona
Thursday 9th and Friday 10th of April, 2015
La Gran Guerra 1914-1918. La pimera guerra de les imatges
Fundació Museu del Cinema - Anjuntement de Girona
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185
200
9788484962205
Dream and cinema; War and cinema; Children and cinema
Silvio Alovisio, Luca Mazzei
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1622930
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