In the Name of the Mother: From Fascist Melodrama to the Maternal Horrific in the Films of Dario Argento

Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


Marcia Landy, “In the Name of the Mother: From Fascist Melodrama to the Maternal Horrific in Dario Argento’s Films”. In this chapter, Landy explores melodrama as a contentious literary and cinematic form in Italian culture through its alignment with a politics of the body by way of sensational affect. Bordering on, at times metamorphosing, into the horrific, the melodramatic imagination entertains scenarios of murder, monstrosity and bodily mutilation perpetrated by or on maternal figures.


Dario Argento Horror Melodrama Maternal 

Works Cited

  1. Benjamin, W. (1998). The origin of German tragic drama (J. Osborne, Trans.). London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Bertellini, G. (2004). Profondo rosso. In G. Bertellini (Ed.), The cinema of Italy. London: Wallflower Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brinkema, E. (2014). The forms of the affects. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Canova, G. (2003). La sindrome del sublime: Poetica dell’eccesso e deriva dello sguardo. L’ultimo Argento. In G. Carluccio, G. Manzoli & R. Menarini (Eds.), L’eccesso della visione: Il cinema di Dario Argento. Turin: Lindau.Google Scholar
  5. Creed, B. (1993). The monstrous-feminine. Film, feminism, psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Dalle Vacche, A. (2008). Diva: Defiance and passion in early Italian cinema. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  7. De Grazia, V. (1992). How fascism ruled women. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. De Quincey, T. (2013). Confessions of an English opium-eater and other writings. In R. Morrison (Ed.), Oxford world’s classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Deleuze, G. (1986). Cinema 1: The movement image (H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  10. Deleuze, G. (1989). Masochism: Coldness and cruelty. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  11. Deleuze, G. (1993). The fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (T. Conley, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fischer, L. (1996). Cinemamaternity: Film, motherhood, genre. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Günsberg, M. (2005). Italian cinema: Gender and genre. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jones, A. (2004). Profondo argento: The man, the myths & the magic. Surrey: FAB Press.Google Scholar
  15. Koven, M. J. (2006). La Dolce Morte: Vernacular cinema and the Italian Giallo Film. Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kristeva, J. (1982). Powers of horror: An essay on abjection. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Landy, M. (1986). Fascism in film. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Landy, M. (2004). Diverting clichés: Femininity, masculinity, and neorealism. In S. Gottlieb (Ed.), Open city (pp. 85–106). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Landy, M. (2009). The medieval imaginary in Italian films. In B. Bildhauer & A. Bernau (Eds.), The middle ages in film (pp. 113–136). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Macciocchi, M. (1979). Female sexuality in fascist ideology. Feminist Review, 1, 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McDonagh, M. (2010). Broken mirrors, broken minds: The dark dreams of dario argento. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nerenberg, E. (2014). Murder made in Italy: Homicide, media and contemporary culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Past, E. (2012). Methods of murder: Beccarian introspection and lombrosian vivisection in crime film. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Reich, J. (2001). The eother of all horror: Witches, gender, and the films of Dario Argento. In K. Jewell (ed.), Monsters in the Italian literary imagination (pp. 89–105). Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Ricci, S. (2008). Cinema and Fascism: Italian film and society, 1922–1943. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Schulte-Sasse, L. (2002). The “Mother” of all horror movies (Dario Argento’s Suspiria, 1977). Kinoeye: New Perspectives in European Film2(11), June 10. Webarchive.Google Scholar
  27. Theweleit, K. (1987). Male fantasies: Women, floods, bodies, history (C. Turner, E. Carter & S. Conway, Trans.), Vol. 1. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  28. Thoret, J. B. (2008). Dario Argento magicien de la peur. Paris: Cahiers du Cinema Ed.Google Scholar
  29. Viano, M. (1993). A certain realism: Making use of Pasolini’s film theory and practice. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  30. Wood, M. P. (2005). Italian cinema. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations