Department of Film and Media
160 Stuart Street, Room 201
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
I teach film in relation to postmodernity, ideological criticism, cultural studies, poststructural theory, and gender, with a strong emphasis on Italian culture. Throughout my career I have been a researcher into Italian, American, and Italian-American cinema, specializing for much of that time in the work of Federico Fellini. I have published three books on Fellini's films in English and have contributed to three Italian volumes on the director. I have authored or edited approximately 70 other publications related to all three of my areas of interest. My work has been published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Italy. I recently published a monograph-length study of Fellini’s commercials in Italian. A different version will appear in English shortly. I provided the audio commentary, along with the late Peter Brunette, for the Criterion 2006 DVD release of Fellini's Amarcord .
I am currently editing the Blackwell Companion to Italian Cinema, a 600-page collection of essays designed to provide comprehensive coverage of significant matters relevant to the field.
I am also writing, for Edinburgh University Press, a volume on the Italian sword-and-sandal film, also called the “peplum,” of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Within a seven-year period, the Italian film industry produced roughly 300 pseudo-mythological and related films (Hercules and Hercules Unchaine d, with Steve Reeves, are probably the best known) intended largely for an American film and television market. This mini genre, while ostensibly rather absurd, is actually quite meaningful in terms of postwar Italian and American politics and culture and in terms of film economics in both Italy and Hollywood. It also raises interesting questions about the relationship of art cinema to popular cinema, especially in relation to Hollywood sword-and-sandal films of the same period. The peplum films have a substantial cult following even today, reflected in the large number that have recently appeared in dvd. A lengthy essay of mine on the subject, as well as several shorter ones, are currently in press.