Berkeley Film & Media Seminar: Giorgio Bertellini
August 31, 2018
Berkeley Film & Media Seminar
The Department of Film & Media and the Department of Italian Studies present:
Giorgio Bertellini, Professor of Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan
"The Divo and the Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America"
Thursday, September 13th, 2018
5:00-7:00PM in 142 Dwinelle
In the forthcoming volume The Divo and the Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America (University of California Press, 2019), I seek to document and analyze an inaugural moment of today’s much discussed convergence of political and celebrity culture. Specifically, I uncover practices of public opinion management that in 1920s America gave political relevance to Italian-born Hollywood actor Rudolph Valentino and popular appeal to the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Amidst the period’s remarkable expansion of consumerism and mass entertainment, these two foreign stars’ popularity, together with their widely-promoted fiction and non-fiction films, were made to challenge the revered ideals of direct democracy and free consumers’ choice in favor of mass consensus for charismatic male leadership.
Giorgio Bertellini is Professor of Film and Media History at the University of Michigan. He is the author and editor of the award-winning volumes Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape and the Picturesque(2010) and Italian Silent Cinema: A Reader (2013). His monograph on the Sarajevo-born filmmaker Emir Kusturica, written in Italian (2011) and English (2015), has been translated into Romanian and, in part, Chinese. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies and co-editor (with Richard Abel and Matthew Solomon) of the University of California Press book series, Cinema Cultures in Contact. His forthcoming work, The Divo and the Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America, will be the first volume of the series.
We hope to see you all there!