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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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The Cinematic Jewel

The Cinematic Jewel

Fetishizing the Goods

(p.209) 13 The Cinematic Jewel
Accessorizing the Body

Vito Zagarrio

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter first discusses the role of jewels in film as multivalent narrative devices. It then turns to a specific film that deserves a closer theoretical discourse: the “fetish” in Riso amaro (Bitter Rice, 1949) by Giuseppe De Santis. The plot hinges on a stolen necklace mentioned at the beginning of the film. The necklace is the focal point. It travels from hand to hand, yet never lands on anybody’s neck, eventually breaking the necks of two people, to end up in the gutter. The necklace is highly symbolic, a strong narrative vehicle, the mythopoetic engine of melodrama, but also an unsettling analytical tool to dissect consumerist society.

Keywords:   jewels, jewelry, films, narrative devices, fetish, Riso amaro, Giuseppe De Santis, consumerism

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