This collection is the first to bring together scholars to explore the ways in which various people and groups in Italian society reacted to the advent of cinema. Looking at the responses of writers, scholars, clergymen, psychologists, philosophers, members of parliament, and more, the pieces collected here from that period show how Italians developed a common language to describe and discuss this invention that quickly exceeded all expectations and transcended existing categories of thought and artistic forms. The result is a close-up picture of a culture in transition, dealing with a 'scandalous' new technology that appeared poised to thoroughly change everyday life.
Francesco Casetti is the Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of Humanities and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. Silvio Alovisio is Assistant Professor of Film at University of Torino. He is extensively working on Italian silent cinema and early film theories. He is the author of some ten essays and books, among which The 'Pastrone System': Itala Film from the Origins to World War 1, and L'occhio sensibile (The Responsive Eye) on cinema and psycho/physiology.Luca Mazzei is Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Film at University of Roma "Tor Vergata". He currently works on early film theories, novels on film, and the role of cinema during the war against the Ottoman Empire (1911). He is the co-editor of Lucio d'Ambra il cinema (co-ed. with A. Aprà) and Microteorie. Cinema Muto Italiano (co-ed. with L. Quaresima).