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Taking PlaceLocation and the Moving Image$
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John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665167

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665167.001.0001

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The Nonplace of Argento: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Roman Urban History

The Nonplace of Argento: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Roman Urban History

Chapter:
(p.211) 9 The Nonplace of Argento: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Roman Urban History
Source:
Taking Place
Author(s):

Michael Siegel

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816665167.003.0009

This chapter examines Dario Argento’s debut film L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, 1970) and its representation of Rome’s urban history. The film uses the structure of detective fiction to conduct a thorough interrogation not of any individual suspect but rather of the city of Rome itself. This is revealed, on one hand, in the film’s cataloging of elements of Rome’s urban space via location shooting. The shots established call attention to various types of architectural thresholds (especially doors and windows) in modern Rome, rather than simply allowing diegetic space to take hold by indicating the parameters and properties of the film’s narrative space. In other words, spatial orientation, is evacuated from these establishing shots in favor of an analysis of urban and architectural phenomena.

Keywords:   Rome, Dario Argento, urban history, urban development, space, urban architecture, location shooting

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