A New Guide to Italian Cinema (Italian & Italian American by Carlo Celli, Marga Cottino-Jones

By Carlo Celli, Marga Cottino-Jones

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Extra info for A New Guide to Italian Cinema (Italian & Italian American Studies)

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Yet the first three years of the ventennio, the 20 odd years of Fascist rule, were characterized by Mussolini’s consolidation of power, a transformation that took him from the figure of a suit waring premier of parliament 22 GUIDE TO ITALIAN CINEMA to the uniformed Duce of WWII. An important first step in the Fascist promulgation of the totalitarian state was the Acerbo Bill, which guaranteed the party receiving most votes in an election two-thirds of the seats in parliament. In 1924, the Fascists attained a majority in parliament using a proportional representation law, which in various guises has continued sporadically to be a feature of the Italian parliamentary system.

He directed several plays and then made Obsession (1943), an adaptation of James Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. Obsession (1943) is a stark vision of life in the Po Valley region of northern Italy with close attention to environmental details and an unflattering treatment of daily life in Italy contrary to the regime’s social self-image, which removed the film from circulation. 40 A large part of the reticence that Fascist culture ministers felt for films like Visconti’s Obsession was its frank depiction of sexual themes.

Once in Rome, parading Fascists occupied the post office and other government buildings. King Victor Emanuel III (1869–1947) refused to order in troops, one of the acts that sealed the fate of the monarchy after WWII. Support for the Fascists grew and in October of 1922 Mussolini was asked by the king to replace Luigi Facta as prime minister, perhaps unaware that he had just invited in a dictatorship that would last 21 years. 6 In his first few years in power, Mussolini (often called Il Duce, The Leader) moved somewhat cautiously.

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