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Why bad things happen to bad people: Investigating evil in the Italian giallo

Why bad things happen to bad people: Investigating evil in the Italian giallo
Why bad things happen to bad people: Investigating evil in the Italian giallo
Scholars generally find little to say about morality in the Italian giallo film, beyond proposing that it must be conservative and then moving on to more interesting topics. At the same time, the genre is often thought to display aspects of modernist radicalism. I explore this potential contradiction by identifying how the genre suggests the presence of evil. This suggestion offers new ways of thinking about the moral and artistic strategies of a genre which I argue represents a break in the history of Italian popular cinema. This break is as violent as it is uncertain, and its uncertainty offers a key to positioning the giallo in relation to its cultural background. To recognise the presence of evil in the giallo thereby helps in understanding the particularities of the modernity, the morality, as well as the pleasures the genre presents.
Giallo, Horror, Italian cinema, Evil, Morality, Popular cinema, Italian popular cinema, Genre
2516-2888
1-21
Bayman, Louis
4ac4c78c-a62e-43a4-aa70-497ab56dcad4
Bayman, Louis
4ac4c78c-a62e-43a4-aa70-497ab56dcad4

Bayman, Louis (2022) Why bad things happen to bad people: Investigating evil in the Italian giallo. Open Screens, 5 (1), 1-21. (doi:10.16995/OS.8010).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Scholars generally find little to say about morality in the Italian giallo film, beyond proposing that it must be conservative and then moving on to more interesting topics. At the same time, the genre is often thought to display aspects of modernist radicalism. I explore this potential contradiction by identifying how the genre suggests the presence of evil. This suggestion offers new ways of thinking about the moral and artistic strategies of a genre which I argue represents a break in the history of Italian popular cinema. This break is as violent as it is uncertain, and its uncertainty offers a key to positioning the giallo in relation to its cultural background. To recognise the presence of evil in the giallo thereby helps in understanding the particularities of the modernity, the morality, as well as the pleasures the genre presents.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 June 2022
Published date: 31 July 2022
Keywords: Giallo, Horror, Italian cinema, Evil, Morality, Popular cinema, Italian popular cinema, Genre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 469065
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/469065
ISSN: 2516-2888
PURE UUID: b5d0ea40-7be2-42f5-88f8-2080dd0a8b86
ORCID for Louis Bayman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4780-2057

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Date deposited: 05 Sep 2022 17:06
Last modified: 06 Sep 2022 01:47

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