• Pirandello’s Character in Ruttmann’s Cacophonic Film Acciaio (1933)

    cecinove2017 (see profile)
    European studies, Film and history, Film history, German studies, Italian studies
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Modern Language Association
    Conf. Org.:
    American Pirandello Society
    Conf. Loc.:
    Washington D.C.
    Conf. Date:
    January 2014
    20th Century Literature, 20th century film, Italian LIterature, German cinema, Italian theatre
    Permanent URL:
    Zooming in on Acciaio: Pirandello and German Cinema Cecilia Novero, NZ [TITLE CHANGED] Pirandello went to Berlin in 1928 with the hope that here, in the capital of both expressionist cinema and the so called “Strassenfilm”, his scenarios would capture the attention of directors such as Joe May, G.W. Pabst, F.W. Murnau, Robert Wiene, Fritz Lang, and also the Viennese Max Reinhardt. It is ironic then that, the most well known German film based on an original story by Pirandello was directed by Walter Ruttmann, in Italy: Acciaio (1933). My paper offers a genesis of this film in the attempt to illustrate the multiple ironies behind the project. Hence, through an analysis of Acciaio, which I consider with an eye to the Italian socio-political situation informing cinematic production in these years, I ask two questions: On the one hand, to what extent does Ruttmann’s Neue Sachlichkeit unwittingly serve Pirandello’s ideas of an experimental cinema, which seemed more attuned to the world of shadows of expressionism? On the other hand, what elements of Pirandello’s character-based story indeed disturb the ideological content of the film, as the regime wished to read it? In answering these questions, the paper argues that Acciaio exemplifies the complex relations Pirandello entertained with film, especially German film.
    This is just a draft of a paper that was presented orally. It has not been revised.
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
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