In this presentation I discuss Italian exotic-erotic exploitation films of the 1960s and 1970s, also known as mondo movies, from Mondo Cane to Black Emanuelle. These films tell us much about the social anxieties, fears, and desires of these decades. They also reveal the long legacy of sexism and racism and make explicit latent tendencies of much cinema in general. Their meaning and message, however, are neither stable nor unchanging across time. Drawing from postcolonial, feminist and queer theories, my analysis brings to the fore a more complicated set of possible interpretations by different generations of viewers.
Clarissa Clò is Professor and Chair in the Department of European Studies at San Diego State University. Her research interests include feminist and queer theory, migration and postcolonial studies, literature, film, music, popular culture and transmedia storytelling in Italian and Italian American Studies. Her work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and book collections. She co-edited a special double issue of the journal Studies in Documentary Film entitled Other Visions: Italian Documentary Cinema as Counter-Discourse, 5.2 & 5.3 (2011), and edited a special double issue on regional cultural studies in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, for Il lettore di provincia, 123 & 124 (2005).
Sponsored by the Center for Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Departments of Comparative Studies, French and Italian, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Film Studies Program, and the Global Mediterranean Project.