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Mobilising Pompeii for Italian Silent Cinema

Wyke, MDC; (2019) Mobilising Pompeii for Italian Silent Cinema. Classical Receptions Journal , 11 (4) pp. 453-475. 10.1093/crj/clz015.

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Abstract

A documentary film about the eruption of Vesuvius in 1906 juxtaposes scenes of the damage and deaths it caused in neighbouring communities with shots of Pompeii — the ancient city of the long-since dead. The documentary suggests that Pompeii is a picturesque site where the privileged tourist experiences aesthetic detachment from the excavators’ labour or the locals’ suffering. Despite this critique, four Italian fiction films about the last days of Pompeii were made between 1908 and 1926. This article explores those films and argues that they mobilize Pompeii both for modern Italians and for cinema. They situate viewers immersively within the reconstructed city and substitute for a detached tourist gaze an impassioned, participatory one.

Type: Article
Title: Mobilising Pompeii for Italian Silent Cinema
DOI: 10.1093/crj/clz015
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/crj/clz015
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078250
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