Don't Bring a Gun to a Fist Fight: Deconstructing Hegemonic Masculinity Through the Gun in Lina Wertmuller's 'Pasqualino Settebellezze'
Luke Cuculis: Class of 2012
Italian Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Book Summary: Feminism in Italy has left a great area of investigation uncovered, buried under the pressure of a backlash that runs over women's identity, their expectations, and their artistic expression. Featuring essays by top scholars and interviews with acclaimed directors, this book examines Italian women's authorship in film and their visions of reality. This anthology unites artists such as Lina Wertmuller, Liliana Cavani, Alina Marazzi, Ilaria Borrelli, and Francesca Comencini with intellectuals such as Dacia Maraini and Patrizia Carrano, two groundbreaking Italian writers whose work has been dedicated to the tireless defense of women's literature and cinema, from a perspective of continuity with past issues and openness towards the more complex gender challenges of today. [From the publisher]
Chapter Summary: This chapter examines Lina Wert’s use of the gun in Pasqualino Settebellezze as a means for ridiculing and ‘emasculating’ representations of hegemonic masculinity. A phallic extension of the male body, the gun is traditionally perceived as a glorified symbol of patriarchal authority and order in contemporary western culture; however, in Pasqualino Settebellezze, the phallic gun is both disempowered and disempowering through an often comedic yet dark caricature.
Anchisi, Lidia HwaSoon and Luke Cuculis. “Don’t Bring a Gun to a Fistfight: Deconstructing Hegemonic Masculinity through the Gun in Lina Wertmüller’s Pasqualino Settebellezze.” Italian Women Filmmakers and the Gendered Screen. Ed. Maristella Cantini. New York: Palgrave and Macmillan, 2013. 53-71.