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Interacting with Horror: Archaeology of the Italian Horror Genre from its Origins until the Eighties.
Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava and Dario Argento

CONTI, GIANPIERA (2015) Interacting with Horror: Archaeology of the Italian Horror Genre from its Origins until the Eighties.
Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava and Dario Argento.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This research examines Italian horror cinema from its origins (1957) until the late 1980s, with particular focus on the productions of three Italian directors: Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava and Dario Argento. My research is divided into two distinct parts: theoretical and analytical. By adopting a variety of theories, which mainly follow three hermeneutic traditions – psychoanalytical (Freud, 1919; Abraham & Torok, 1994), pragmatist (Wiley, 1994) and social interactionist (Collins, 2000, 2004) – the first section of my project aims to outline three distinct phases of the circulation of horror symbols. The second part is devoted to a series of case studies, which function as exemplary illustrations of the elaborated theoretical framework. In order to define the field of analysis, my attention focuses on four thematic discourses: spaces, objects, identities and actions. A critical examination of selected films from Freda, Bava and Argento’s productions delineate the directors’ constant and extensive use of intertextual references to symbols already circulated at a first level.
The theoretical framework of this thesis, in conjunction with filmic analysis, will contribute to a more exhaustive understanding of the archaeology of the genre. After establishing that singular theories do not supply sufficient information on genre issues, this study aims to address the gap in critical knowledge, reviewing the potentiality of the Italian horror cinema through a multidisciplinary discourse. An interpretation of the Italian horror genre can only exist in relation to a series of interplays with a multitude of factors. Hence, discussing the genre through filmic and extra-filmic schemes (including editing and marketing processes, censorship and spectatorship issues and intertextual references to external and internal archives of horror), this work acknowledges interactionism as a space of debate, which, encompassing several perspectives at a time (psychoanalytic, pragmatist, sociologic, etc.) allows a dialogic and exhaustive investigation of the Italian horror genre.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Italian horror cinema, interaction ritual chains, intertextuality, uncanny, gothic, genre, censorship, religion, mythology, natural and supernatural, gender role, exploitation, cinema industry, psychic phantoms, double, permanent and temporary visitors, internal conversation, archives of horror, visual art, identity, monsters, victims, Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava, Dario Argento
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Mar 2015 09:57

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