Disputing Rossellini: Three French perspectives | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
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In his burgeoning body of film theoretical work the French philosopher Jacques Rancière repeatedly turns to some canonical films by Neorealist pioneer Roberto Rossellini. Not simply retreading tired motifs of Neorealism, Rancière’s comments offer some profound new insights, revolutionising prior perspectives on Rossellini. In this article I shall put Rancière’s perspective into dialogue with two of the most significant of these perspectives: André Bazin’s and Gilles Deleuze’s. In doing so I shall claim that Rancière’s approach departs radically from the canonised, standardised Neorealist conception of Rossellini. Instead, I wish to claim that he describes a modernist artist primarily concerned with aesthetic clashes. In doing so I shall contemplate how the meaning of these films has evolved since the era of their contemporary reception, demonstrating the congruence and disparity between these three disparate approaches.


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