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

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1

Italian Studies

Department 2

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.


Original version of the full book is available from the publisher at: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/italian-women-filmmakers-and-the-gendered-screen-maristella-cantini/?K=9781137336514

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