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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 Eclipse of Place: Rome’s Eur from Rossellini to Antonioni

The Eclipse of Place: Rome’s Eur from Rossellini to Antonioni

(p.31) 2 The Eclipse of Place: Rome’s Eur from Rossellini to Antonioni
Taking Place

John David Rhodes

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter traces the cinematic fortunes of the Esposizione Universale Romana (EUR) suburb of Rome, a neighborhood originally designed by the fascist regime to host the World’s Fair of 1942 that never took place. It examines the responses to EUR registered in the cinematic and architectural cultures of postwar Italy of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. In a historical era characterized by the pressing concerns of massive migration to cities, debates around urban planning, housing shortages, and the accelerated production of housing, this newly and extravagantly urbanized area of Rome became a visual trope in postwar Italian culture and cinema. Functioning as more than mere location (or setting), EUR served as a historical marker for a shift, or series of shifts, in Italian culture. More precisely, it acted as the medium through which Italian cinema historicized itself in relation to the past. EUR acted as both material embodiment and symbol, something compulsively deployed or assimilated in the variety of responses to the vertiginous acceleration of Italian postwar modernity.

Keywords:   Esposizione Universale Romana, Rome, fascists, World’s Fair, postwar Italy, Italian cinema, modernity

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