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Encounters in the real: subjectivity and its excess in Roberto Rossellini

Vighi, Fabio ORCID: 2004. Encounters in the real: subjectivity and its excess in Roberto Rossellini. Studies in European Cinema 1 (3) , pp. 185-197. 10.1386/seci.1.3.185/0

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This article re-examines the subversive nature of Roberto Rossellini's realism by focusing on the representation of subjectivity in the ‘Trilogy of War’ and, more precisely, by endeavouring to extract the repressed kernel of Rossellini's cinematic subject. Starting with a theoretical evaluation of André Bazin's defence of Rossellini's method, it then moves on to use Lacanian psychoanalysis as a way to access the characteristic imbalance, or decentredness, of the Rossellinian subject. Concentrating on two hallmarks of Italian neo-realism such as Rome, Open City and Paisà, the article suggests that the Italian director's realistic approach hinges on the subtle exposure of a certain subjective excess that cannot be reduced to the historical and symbolical significance of the narratives, but should rather be related to the Lacanian notions of jouissance and sexual difference. In that way, the disturbing excess of Rossellini's subject can be regarded as correlative to what Bazin had named the elliptical dimension of his neo-realistic style.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rossellini, neo-realism, subjectivity, Lacan, real, jouissance
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1741-1548
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:51

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