115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Theatricality of Profession in Matteo Garrone’s Cinema

Federico Pacchioni, Chapman University

In Matteo Garrone’s directorial vision, the unity between film content and form pivots on the theme of work. A certain sensitivity for the relationship between one’s human sensibility and one’s profession often occupies a central place in most of his films. As it is shown in key moments scattered throughout Garrone’s filmography, the characters’ professional occupations are entryways into a meaningful whole, consisting of determined atmospheres, social issues, and existential topics.

Proposal: 

In Matteo Garrone’s directorial vision, the unity between film content and form pivots on the theme of work. A certain sensitivity for the relationship between one’s human sensibility (or lack of it) and one’s profession often occupies a central place in most of his films. This characteristic, which can be likened to the more sociological expressions of Italian neorealism, is taken by Garrone to a poetic level closer to that found in Pasolini’s Accattone and Antonioni’s The Passenger. As it is shown in key moments scattered throughout Garrone’s filmography, the characters’ professional occupations (be they manual laborers, actors, taxidermists, goldsmiths, tailors, fishmongers, and so on) are entryways into a meaningful whole, consisting of determined atmospheres, social issues, and existential topics.

Dr. Pacchioni received his PhD from the department of French and Italian at Indiana University Bloomington. Before joining Chapman University as the Sebastian Paul & Marybelle Endowed Musco Chair, Dr. Pacchioni taught courses in Italian and Italian-American literature and film at the University of Connecticut-Storrs and at the Scuola Italiana of Middlebury College. At Chapman University, Dr. Pacchioni coordinates the Italian Studies program and teaches Italian as well as interdisciplinary courses in the Honors Program and with the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

In his research, he focuses on cases of artistic synergy and intermediality across Italian cinema, literature, and theatre. He is the author of more than thirty publications, including several articles in peer-review journals and volumes, translations, reviews, interviews, and creative writings. His books are: InspiringFellini: Literary Collaborations behind the Scenes (University of Toronto Press, 2014, monograph), La paura dell’amore (Rimini: Raffaelli Editore, 2014, full-length poetry collection), and Pier Paolo Pasolini: Prospettive americane (Metauro Edizioni, 2015, co-edited with Fulvio Orsitto). Dr. Pacchioni’s work on film historiography has led to a collaboration with Peter Bondanella on the writing of the new edition of A History of Italian Cinema (Bloomsbury Academic Press, forthcoming), a mainstay of courses in the English-speaking world. Currently, Dr. Pacchioni is applying his intermedial approach to Italian cultural history in a book project about Italian puppetry traditions examined in their intersection with literary and cinematographic production.

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