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On Wednesday 17 February Dr Louis Bayman (University of Southampton) will give a research seminar entitled ‘Eppur si commuove: Melodrama, the expression of feeling, and postwar Italian cinema’. The seminar will take place at 4pm in Rendall Building, Lecture Theatre 3.

Figure 1.3

Italian cinemas after the war were filled by audiences who had come to watch domestically produced films of passion and pathos. These highly emotional and consciously theatrical melodramas posed moral questions with stylish flair, redefining popular ways of feeling about romance, family, gender, class, Catholicism, Italy and feeling itself. This seminar will discuss the melodramatisation of post-war Italian cinema as a cultural response to a society undergoing thorough transformation.

It will pose questions regarding how we understand film history, and consider the relationship that melodrama institutes between popular culture and both neorealism and arthouse modernism. It will argue that melodrama places emotional expressivity at the centre of the dramatic universe, and by so doing, presents a reality into contact with both the Sacred and the everyday.