Memories of the Second World War played a central role in shaping the European imaginary and in founding the European political order after 1945. Nevertheless, while the Second World War was a global event, its memories have been mainly studied from a national point of view, thus underestimating the conspicuous phenomena of transmission of narratives and representations of the conflict from one country to another. This article analyzes the Italian reception of American movies about the Second World War, as a way to overcome the preponderance of a nation-centered perspective and to open up to a transnational analysis mainly based on the concepts of communication, diffusion and exportation of cultural products. After a theoretical introduction, the article analyzes an original source of great use for the study of the reception of American movies: the evaluation forms produced by the audience of an Italian cineforum about five American war movies in the 1960s. The importance of the source lies in its rarity: direct testimonies of the opinion of a non-specialist public about a movie are very rare, and thus extremely precious for a bottom-up approach to such issues.

Imported memories: the Italian audience and the reception of American movies about the Second World War

Pipitone D.
2016

Abstract

Memories of the Second World War played a central role in shaping the European imaginary and in founding the European political order after 1945. Nevertheless, while the Second World War was a global event, its memories have been mainly studied from a national point of view, thus underestimating the conspicuous phenomena of transmission of narratives and representations of the conflict from one country to another. This article analyzes the Italian reception of American movies about the Second World War, as a way to overcome the preponderance of a nation-centered perspective and to open up to a transnational analysis mainly based on the concepts of communication, diffusion and exportation of cultural products. After a theoretical introduction, the article analyzes an original source of great use for the study of the reception of American movies: the evaluation forms produced by the audience of an Italian cineforum about five American war movies in the 1960s. The importance of the source lies in its rarity: direct testimonies of the opinion of a non-specialist public about a movie are very rare, and thus extremely precious for a bottom-up approach to such issues.
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cultural history; Italian history; memory; movies; reception studies; Second World War
Pipitone D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1786789
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