Francesco Casetti

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Francesco Casetti is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Humanities and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. His research moves from film and visual media, and addresses their spectatorship, their relation to the cultural forms of modernity, and their impact on space. Raised as semiotician, Casetti’s early works were mostly devoted to film analysis, with essays on Visconti’s The Earth Trembles and The Leopard, De Sica’s Sciuscià, a book on Bernardo Bertolucci (1975), and an innovative approach to the Tv series (Un’altra volta ancora, 1984). He also co-authored a textbook on the topic, Analisi del film (1990), largely used in Italian and Spanish universities. After expansive studies on the implied spectator in film (Inside the Gaze, Indiana, 1999, or. 1986) and in television (Tra me e te, 1988), Casetti combined in an original way close analysis of media messages and ethnographic researches of actual audiences (L'ospite fisso, 1995), defining the notion of "communicative negotiations" (Communicative Negotiation in Cinema and Television, 2002). In parallel, Casetti developed an interest for a history of film theories (Theories of Cinema, 1945-1995, Texas, 1999, or. 1993, and more recently Early Film Theories in Italy. 1896-1922, AUP, 2017, editor). This interest elicited an extended exploration of the role of cinema in the context of modernity (Eye of the Century. Film, Experience, Modernity, Columbia, 2008, or. 2005), followed by a study on the reconfiguration of cinema in a post-medium epoch, in which Casetti compared the most recent forms of cinema with the rise of cinema at the beginning of 20th Century (The Lumiére Galaxy. Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come, Columbia, 2015, winner of the Limina Award for the best book of the year on cinema). Casetti is currently working on the cinephobic and mediaphobic instances in the first three decades of the 20th Century Europe (“Why fears matter. Cinephobia in early film culture,” Screen 59:2, Summer 2018), and in the ways visual media are able to define new forms of space, both imaginary and physical, thanks the elaboration of media- and screen-scapes (“Screenscape: a Decalog,” Perspecta, 51, 2018). With an original move, Casetti parallels the two topics: media mostly organize space in order to respond to the anxieties of the time. His books and essays are largely translated in foreigner languages (French, Spanish, Hongrois, Czech, Chinese, Korean, Slovenian).

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