Photoromance, she read: Fandom and the politics of Italian media | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2047-7368
  • E-ISSN: 2047-7376

Abstract

This article examines Italian non-fiction media productions of the late 1950s and 1960s that represent the photoromance industry and its female fans. I argue that state-controlled and/or privately owned media outlets and their contributors (among them, Cesare Zavattini and Mario Soldati) scapegoated photoromances in defence of moral, social and cultural respectability, but also on the basis of anxieties towards the increasing role played by female audiences in the making of culture. Furthermore, I show that politically engaged documentaries similarly chastised the photoromance industry without necessarily serving the cause of women’s emancipation. Blaming photoromances for the degeneration of Catholic values, for the debasement of working-class culture and for the degradation of consumerist society, all films serve the same purpose of maintaining a patriarchal society’s status quo, of diverging attention from ‘higher’ cultural products and their exploitation of women’s bodies and of minimizing the important role that female fans played in the success of a global market.

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2022-01-01
2024-02-25
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