The Great Black Spider on Its Knock-Kneed Tripod: Reflections of Cinema in Early Twentieth-Century Italy
The emergence of cinema as a predominant form of mass entertainment in the 1910s inspired intellectuals to rethink their definitions of art. The Great Black Spider on Its Knock-Kneed Tripod traces the encounter of Italy’s writers with cinema, and in doing so offers vibrant new perspectives on the country’s early twentieth-century culture.
This comparative study focuses on the immediate responses to this cultural phenomenon of three highly influential intellectuals, each with a competing aesthetic vision – Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, founder of Futurism; Gabriele D’Annunzio, leader of Italian Decadentism; and Luigi Pirandello, a father of modern European theatre and theorist of humour. Along with demonstrating how the popularization of the feature-length narrative influenced each author’s outlook and theories, Michael Syrimis unravels the extent to which cinema enforced or neutralized the ideological and aesthetic differences between them.
- Series: Toronto Italian Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 376 pages
- Illustrations: 18
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.3in
‘Syrimis expresses sophisticated arguments in an elegant and straightforward style. His interdisciplinary scholarship contributes significantly to Italian Studies, but will also appeal to Cinema Studies as well as scholars interested in the intersection of technology and art in Italy.’
Modern Language Review vol 111:01:2016
Author InformationMichael Syrimis is an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at Tulane University.
Table of contents
Introduction: Reflections of Cinema and Technology in Marinetti, D’Annunzio, and Pirandello
- Film Aesthetics of a Heroic Futurism
- An Aesthetics of War: The (Un)Problematic Screening of Vita futurista
- Velocita: Between Avant-Garde and Narrativity
- Forse che si forse che no: Technological Inflections of a Decadent Text
- Through a ‘Futuristic’ Lens: D’Annunzio’s Cinematic Re-Visions
- The Humoristic Image in Pirandello’s Si gira
- Cinema as Humour: The Ottre and the Superfluo
Subjects and Courses