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Streetwalking around Plato's Cave Author(s): Giuliana Bruno Reviewed work(s): Source: October, Vol. 60 (Spring, 1992), pp.

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Around Plato's Cave Streetwalking

GIULIANA

BRUNO

Film in theCityscape: A Topoanalysis and actioninterpene[In Naples] building tratein thecourtyards, arcades,and staira theater ways. .. tobecome ofthenew ... This is how architecture, the mostbinding comesinto part of the communal rhythm, the [in] beinghere, baroque opening of .... a heightened publicsphere ... Whatdistinguishes Naplesfromother is [that] attitude ... eachprivate largecities or act is permeated communal bystreams of life. -Walter Benjamin In March 1896, at the Salone Margherita,in Naples, cinema entered the world of spectacle. This world was concentratedaround an arcade, the Galleria Umberto I, a passage that faced the Teatro San Carlo opera house, the Royal Palace, and the sea.' A local newspaper reportedthe following about one of the early screeningsat the theaterin the arcade: This evening the Salone Margheritawill reopen with a completely new program. The Cindmatographe Lumiere, the most grandiose of thiscentury, willbe shown.Then willfollow:the Benedetti novelty acrobats family, top Icarus-style comingfromBerlin; Vargas Bisaccia, the incredibleshrinkingcouple returningfromtheirRussian, Spanish, and German engagements; the eccentricFrench star Bloquelle;
1. This essay is adapted from my book Streetwalking on a RuinedMap: CulturalTheory and the FilmsofElvira Notari(Princeton: PrincetonUniversity City Press, forthcoming 1992).

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i... Entrance theTeatro GalleriaUmberto San Carlo... This content downloaded on Tue. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ..::.. ...I.. ::iiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. opposite i~~~~~iiHi!!m ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ iiiiiiiiiiil ? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~'??.. iJ!!ii' 10iii i . 1887-91.UP""""'"'"'% ' ' ' : iii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!ii!!iiiiiiiiiiiii!i iiiiii i iiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiii .i.. ...

far as to sponsor some of Notari's films.. Street lifein Elvira Notari'sA Piedigrotta. 4 . Her films over one hundred documentaries in New York Citytheaters... April 4. ...suppressed by the fascist censorship.ended withthe advent of sound... . Her (public) women's melodramas issued from the body of urban 2.Naples's arcade was a prominent filmmagazinesand of a livelyfilmproduction.As From the verybeginning. .Notarimade sixty and shortsbetween 1906 and 1930..1920. . Belvalle the music-hallsinger-in otherwords... historicalmemory. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the German singer Milford..As head of her own productioncomand featurefilms pany.. Herman the snake man.the city the home of over twenty was in the vanguard of the silentfilmart's development... di Napoli.filmmaking own styleof filmmaking.Her production. WW'.. 77'7.. traditions..are today unknown.. . predatingstylistic of "supera in Naples pioneered realistic opposed to theaesthetic representation in cultural rooted local in spectacles"then dominant Italy. R ik: fA .... .a great spectacle.. Il Corriere This content downloaded on Tue.... 1896. Italy's Her name and work..named Dora Film afterher daughter.2 filmcenter..Naples establishedits featuresof neorealism. 41mlol AM: TP .. . MIN...mostparticularly providing who went so an imaginaryvoyage of returnfor Italian-American immigrants. e2fz VIM V1...Neapolitan cinema. . Naples. excised from firstand most prolificwoman filmmaker.. A major force withinthis cinema was Elvira Notari (1875-1946)... . was of the street. were shown in America. Elvira Notari shot women's storieson location in the vicoli(alleyways)of Naples...

.i -iiii!ii :. 1884..i: i .June 15..: iii-.. 4.. was sustainedby a passion forthe urban travelogue. inscriptions popular culture. 1.:iiiiiiii . is produced by Dora Film. primarilyshown at a theater in the arcade.The Neapolitan filmmagazine L'artemutaremarkedin 1916 thatthe audience of the arcade's cinema expressed a demand for the panoramic and expected it to be satisfied by the filmsit saw of the there.!!i-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-:iiii~iiiiiiiiii.. Naples.iiii~ii~iiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiii i~ !ii ! iiiiiiiiiiii ii! iiiiiii -iiiiiii:.the young Neapolitan production house. the movie house of the Galleria Umberto I.ilii:iii?:ii iii~i:?. This content downloaded on Tue.iiiiiiiiiiliiiiii --.. See Matilde Serao.her of the streetrepresented"il ventre as the word's Greek root suggests.red as the color of blood. Notari's popular urban cinema succeeded in providingsuch pleasure: A movingdrama where passion blossoms. The expectationof the public attendingthistheaterhas been completely fulfilled: the suggestivedrama develops against the enchantingpanorama of the cityof Naples. of urban transit and panoramicvision.1928. i..Naples.The success of any given filmwas predicatedupon the fulfillment panoramic desire. Duie Paravise (Two Heavens). 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . no. . mother-city.-i.. 1916.iiiiiii Elvira Notari..The filmwas screened at Cinema Vittoria. used documentarysequences of streetcultureand cityviews.Their narratives and the cityscape. L'artemuta. vol.:. a contemporaryof Notari.i'!?: l!. 1. Notari'smelodrama reproduced the metropolitan topography di Napoli. II ventre di Napoli.4 The commonly used expression"il ventre di Napoli"derivesfroma book bythe femalenovelist 3.These films.. meter-polis-her This popular cinema.. whose serious artistic intentsare well known.. and journalist Matilde Serao. :% iiiii: iiiiiiiiiii ."3the "belly"of a metropolis.

Naples had traditionally offeredthe spectacle of movement.::::l:::r-:~~::-----::-:-:::I-::-i-~:--j-:_? .5 Through dominance.itscirculation and receptionin the arcade's theater.-? . This content downloaded on Tue. 1981).--:::-::?: i:i_:.The facilitated the revitalNeapolitan arcade. ): ::::: :-:? : :: -i-:::::-::: :::::::?. 1986). c. one best microhisIn a this proceeds by "streetwalking" through topoanalysis. Narrative. :?::. 1890.?i`:. Anonymous photographer. :. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .enraptured in a state of reverie.. within"a theaterof the new" provided a fertile ground for the developmentof cinema. the spectator/prisoner is fixedin place. the urban matrixof a (plebeian) metropolisthat enabled Elvira Notari'scinema. mapping toricalconfiguration of events. solitary For the antecedentsof the ongoingdiscourseon the cinematicapparatus. along path. To trace the stepsof thisimplantation of cinema in the cityscape.. Press.::: " ::?:-:..Its intermingling of architectural stylescreated "a baroque of of dwelling and motion a its fusion opening heightened public sphere"." in Philip Rosen.::::::::i?:::?:?::::-`::::::I:-::-~-: ~~~ :::::::::::::::::i:~"::::::: ::::::::::::::::::-?':'~':l:. then.-?-??-???:::::::r:-Er-::?. (New York: Columbia University Ideology Apparatus. and Jean-LouisBaudry.I wish to explore the terrainof the cinematic apparatus.::-:::-.. therebyexpanding the range of its theorizationand offeringa to a psyreading of filmpleasure effectsthat is conceived as complementary of most the their differences. the allegoricalemblem of modernity. 5.:. ::-:?:-: ::::_ ::::::::i :i': . ization of an urban popular culture."The Signifier (Bloomington:Indiana University Apparatus: Metapsychological Approaches to the Impressionof Realityin the Cinema. :::::: --:::::. ed. the spectatorhas become a motionlesssubject..i:i::-:::-: ?~: : ::.: :::--:: ::::_::r:-:::::::::. Despite theories(in particularthe earlyLacanian ones) have tended to view choanalytic cinema as deriving its main impact from the viewer's identification with the of a sort vision of this theoretical camera's gaze.114 OCTOBER It was. :::: :: :: :?: ::? . As filmwas implanted in the cityscape..see ChristianMetz.Chained in Plato's Cave.-:: . TheImaginary Press.. choanalyticunderstanding psysubject.:::::?-?: -:::::::::::: : ::::?:::-:: ::::: -????:???? ??~" A Veduta of Naples.::-::::::::I`::L: ::::::::::.the cityscapewas implanted withinfilm.

April 1989). -Samuel Sharp.). 1991). As it regardsthe interaction of historicity developed in myStreetwalking and public in modernity. under Spanish domination. Naples was. Letters from Italy." unpublished paper (Society for Cinema Studies Conference.the second-largest cityin Europe afterParis and an notable for its baroque painting and arimportantartisticcenter. a concern that is increasingly directedto silentcinema. consequently.particularly chitecture. and Naples was renowned for its artistic musical life. City. 1765-66 The implantation of cinema in the arcade was a product of Naples's metropolitanfabric. and to historicity. I wish to reclaim these pleasures and pursue a theorizationof spectatorship The spectatorial opened to motion.a positionthatmade it.an tolight thestageonly. Babel and Babylon: in Spectatorship American SilentFilm (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Neapolitans go to see.theyhave reached an impasse.the diversifieddimensions of cinematic desire have been excised. Unable to account for a collective.It is thecustom which renderstheir spectacles frightfully dark. Tom Gunning. and historicaldimension of reception.An ancientcity(founded bythe Greeks in the ninthcentury the capital of a kingdomthatextended throughB.AroundPlato's Cave Streetwalking 115 his/her gaze unable to reallywander. Iowa PublicFilms(Athens: The University of Georgia Novels. The ideas presented here are further on a RuinedMap. nomadic. among others. "The Book that Refuses to Be Read: Images of the City in Early Cinema. Current work on spectatorshipin the United States shows a growingconcern for a theorization of history. opera. pp. Patrice Petro.Private Press.in the seventeenth century. Europe broughtwithit 6. This content downloaded on Tue. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .C. Paris. 1989). forcenturies.6 fascinationwith cinema-a kinetic"affair"-exceeds the fantasmaticscene of Plato's cave. it was still the largest Italian city and the fourth-largest city in after and Istanbul. and JudithMayne. traverse. Hansen. out the southernpartof Italy. Intense urbanization London. Pleasures other than that of masteryhave been obscured. University of Iowa.and follow the scopophilia of film-viewing theories of the apparatus have cathected.Joyless Streets: and Melodramatic Women in Weimar Representation (Princeton: Princeton University Germany Press. notto hear. Film at theArcade A stranger upon hisarrivalin so largeand a city celebrated as Naples generally makes thepublicspectacles hisfirst pursuit. "Early Silent Cinema: Whose Public Sphere?" New GermanCritique 29 (Winter 1983). to the public sphere. 147-84.In the eighteenthcentury.Miriam Hansen. see also. 1988). There are modes of pleasure in going to the cinema that to which most precede.

became a catalystfor venturesin filmproductionand trade. Claudio Rubino."Cinematografo vol. Neapolitan cinema produced withinthe arcade's netand social center. a great disparity its characteristic this "perperiod.as her filmswere regularlyscreened at the Cinema Vittoria. Notari has been withemotions. and vol.the arcade work of transactions:as a commercial. played prominent railway in arcade. "I primi cinema napoletani.vibrating luterane Pier Paolo Pasolini. in the theaterSalone MarFilm programsbecame an everydayattraction gherita of Naples's main arcade. Mario an Italian-Jewish businessman.Rome. for publicity purposes. All cinematographicactivities was Galleria Umberto I. (Napoli: On filmexhibitionin Naples.artistic.These public filmic movie theaterwas opened by store.aimed at elevatingthe writing great dramas." so aptlydefinedby Pier Paolo Pasolinias thatof a "plebeian metropolis":7 the coexistlifeand illiteracy. a Napoli: Davide Turconi (Rome. chapters2. 21-24.1896-1899. This content downloaded on Tue. Naples's other. located in the Galleria Principe di Napoli. in particularvol. mostly 8.8 In the earlydays of Neapolitan cinema. 1. ence of high and popular culture. (Bari: Laterza. therewere open-airfilm Next to the theater. Bernardini's data are most accurate. 5. Outdoor filmscreeningswere takingplace. eventswere sponsoredbythearcade's department the street. 3. During sona." in Cinemae film.in the Galleria. eds.116 OCTOBER itspotential. a richintellectual extremesof wealthand poverty. the 1861 the ancient capital into a regional metropolis. Mrs. 1. the found home a Cinema the motion-picture city's industry. 1976).in the Galleria Umberto I." Immagine. no. See in particularp. 1939. to the cinematic entrance conceived an he audience. 1969). 1980-82). 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the first For the newlyformed arcade Recanati. chapters 2 and 4. pp. imaginaryderived from a was Recanati's American dream machinery: Neapolitan interpretation lobby of Broadway-like devices. at the veryentranceof the arcade. Napolinelcinema Azienda Autonoma Cura Soggiorno e Turismo.Naples housed the first in fullyparticipatory nineteenth-century in of the rise role it a and line (the Napoli-Portici). vol. Gian Piero Brunettaand VittorioMartinelli.Cinemamutoitaliano. and Appunti sulle origini. Aldo Bernardini. 66. Armando Curcio Editore. no. the Galleria Umberto I.if lesser. as well as at the Cinema Monte Maiella. from 1896 to 1898. Pappalardi.1987). S. March 25." Cinema. were Films projectedonto a verylarge screenand were visiblefrom screenings. 2."Sotto il sole di Napoli. (Turin: Einaudi. at the time.also in Paris and New York.the Galleria UmbertoI served not only as the center of filmexhibitionbut also as the main location for the film concentratedaround the were at first business.Lettere 7. Naples developed ing population. On the eve of cinema's advent. Elvira Notari shows in Naples the strongimpact that the new cinematographicart may have on the people. 17. of Italy transformed unification Italian culture. 2. 2 (June-September1982). and an increasbetweenthe city'sinfrastructures. Accordingto a magazine of the time: Mrs.arcade. At the same time. Elvira Notari's cinema was deeply involvedin these developments.3 vols. see VittorioPaliottiand Enzo Grano.

The subject of women in the theaterand the laws.'0A contemporary of Elvira Notari. This area. emphasizes the factthatfilms The most notable of these arcade screeningswas thatof A legge(The law. It was here.which could accommodate 360 people. or O festino e a legge(The feast and the law). 11. Due to popular demand. pp. . and drew. Benedetto Croce. Cinema's implantationin the arcade is illuminatedby Benedetto Croce's two-volumehistoryof Neapolitan theater. like the prostitutes. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "Almost all women associated with the theater and spectacles were affected by those laws . I teatri di Napoli. a few years before the entrance of cinema into the world of spectacle. in particularin vol.to late at nightin both sections of the movie theater. His theaterhistorywas published in 1891. Writinga historyof theater not simplyreduced to a history of plays.His account discussed as well the difficulties traditionally encountered by women in theater. are discussed by Croce. The dedication of the Galleria Umberto I took place on November 10. 310-12. A leggewas screened continuouslyfor over a month at the Vittoria. They were not considered honest as their professioncarried with it the hard necessityof dealing with many men. November 30.Around Plato's Cave Streetwalking 117 popular soul and showing its inner virtues. withan exhibitionof artistically 9. and 1739.in accordance witheighteenth-century laws.which demonstratedno interestin spectacle. usually lasted for a period of one or two weeks. traditionally. 1921). and lovers of music. 1734. Croce's study was conceived as a response to traditional literaryand philosophical scholarship. on the average. pp. a "Bakhtinian"film. promulgated in 1737. ambitiousindustrialproducts." desire and punishment. (Napoli: Giannini. 10.La frusta.deviance and rules. 306-23.The arcade 1892.9 Dora Film screenings at the Vittoria. 2. between 1887 and 1890. 1891). This content downloaded on Tue. were forced to live who.M. 2. Even the publicity materialfor United States distribution were successfully shownat the arcade. vol.was a site where. Croce lived in Naples all his life."" Exploring the sites of spectacle.from 10 A. 2 vols. located in the vicinity of the harbor.Croce shows that popular spectacles and theaterswere set rightin the area of the Teatro San Carlo. fromthe timeof itsconstruction in 1737.a public which alwaysoverflowing exits moved and in a betterframeof mind. outside the citylimits.About six thousand people saw this filmin Naples's arcade everyday. referredto. . 1920.whose story was suspended between "the feast and the law. Giuseppe Fossataro. Croce mapped out the city's theatricalgeography. Ibid.The Cinema Vittoriais withthe public formanyevenings. the oldest temporary Italian opera house. that the Galleria Umberto I was built and cinema was soon implanted.poets. musicians. an audience of fifty thousand people. popular spectacles and high forms of theater and music were juxtaposed.

. space. The passer-bydoes not have to be of a special or have a ticket to enter. 1987)..Arcades: (Cambridge: MIT Press.It religion achievement is the monumentalexpressionof thismostcharacteristic the of the nineteenth century. Johann FriedrichGeist. forum: The Galleria Umberto I . 1895.caftschantant.. public sphere."12 Naples's arcade was a modern covered theaters. 428-37. 1983).and the is overcome by the sudden revelationof the existence of this eye hidden huge.'3 nellastoria 12. and is cooled by the sea wind whichblows throughit. Le citt& d'Italia:Napoli (Bari: Laterza. c. The entrances are perpendicular to the lines of the street. TheHistory 13. is the largestpublic space in the entire city. Giorgio 4aff 41 t e ur. Sommer.One strolls unsuspectingly along Via Roma.is protectedfromboth rain and sun. ofa BuildingType pp. Cesare De Seta. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This content downloaded on Tue. 276. Lt Gali betto "became thesocial centerof thecityas itwas the privilegedmeeting immediately of journalists and writersand housed commercial activitiesas well as point clubs. p... A chance glance to the left.Galleria Umberto I. etc.The arcade belongs to everyone.It is giganticin its dimensions.

..Around Plato'sCave Streetwalking 119 The Galleria extended the function of thepiazza (forum).. wrote: The arcade has become the attraction of beggars..14 It was the darkness of the movie theaterthatwelcomed them. in the metropolitan siteof diversesocial configurationsfromthose of a social elite and the intelligentsia to thatof the underworld......the Italian urban activsite of meetingand passeggiata (promenade). ...iii.....Those people mustbe pushed back into the darknesswhere theybelong... iii.. .. into modern terms... Naples.=.i.i -i--iiiii.. It represented the coalescence and transformation of this public life.. II pungolo.. .. streeturchins.. Trainat theStation Granatello-Portici....and the arcade became a terrainfor the reproductionof the city'spopular culture. =. . Genealogical Travelogue: In John Horne Burns's novel The Gallery (1947).and transitory ities...... 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .....i. continueto be the refuge of the filthiest derelicts of our Neapolitanlife. such as our arcade.......A in 1902 againstthe presenceof the underworld Neapolitanjournalist. 5. was thus grounded in a locus of spectacleand circulation of people and goods... set in the urban piazza..iiiii. = .. ... ...1902.... It should not be allowed thata beautifuland elegant meetingplace...iii... A + 1839. and Trains Cinema. and traditionally typically housed in the arcade..:: i __ i i 1. iiiii.... 11 ..iiiiii i '' iiiiiiii'i ...p....T ..i =ii ==..October14-15.. i. .. . ...i.=:. ..iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iii!=: .... pimps... Salvatore Arrival of theFirst Fergola.iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i iii. the Galleria Umberto I is the geographical center of action. . Arcades. social events.Cinema...1.protesting in the elegant arcade. This content downloaded on Tue..idlers. The site is described as resemblingthe 14..

John Horne Burns. Menotti terminal. in newsstands most in the and all station the train Naples. 16. . . in desire is rooted in oralityis suggestedbyJean-Louis Baudry. as well. among them was Sala Eglk of RobertoTroncone..Arcades. For a treatment see. the number of theatersin the Galleria Umberto I had gone up to six. mobilized gaze were thus to be joined in the form of a cinematicapparatus travelingon a train. The Gallery. That filmic a footnoteto his essay "The Apparatus. positioned on the thresholdof interior/exterior.'6 The railway was a major place for the circulationof Neapolitan film advertisedthe magazine's a local filmmagazine. 432. issue of the filmmagazine La lanterna. .SiegfriedGiedion. . 1947. a cross between the hall of a train and the nave of a church. of the one to consider the geographyof cinema's genealogyand the historicity transition cinematicapparatus. The arcade representedthe nineteenth-century built of iron and glass.'9 15. the bookstores and listed and bookstore train station's sale at the regularly the route of the film A of area. The idea was to have "vagoni-cinema. 18. it A structure of architectureinto urban itineraries. was secretive. February 1917. Press." pp.the founder of one of the first Neapolitan productionhouses. p. it seemed like being inside a Baroque Underground station. By 1906. Oral pleasure eating/being ing/swallowed." to eating. . 1962). had spread fromthe Galleria exhibition one had opened at the Galleria Principedi Napoli. was indeed the neighborhoodof therailway activities Cattaneo began public screenings there. 19. just like of on trains. 17. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Everyonein Naples went to the Galleria . there were at least seven steadymovie houses in the area of Naples's trainstation. ..120 OCTOBER railway:"The Galleria Umberto I in Naples is a large arcade.La Cinefono.where fifteen ing.Thus the notionof cinema on trainspreceded that of filmon airplanes." cinema-cars. among others. quoted in Geist. The arcade . and film theaterswere reportedto be functionUmberto I to the surroundingneighborhood. Neapolitan filmexhibitionand productionof this early period. La cinefono. Entitled"Even Cinema Train.continually culture.The oral nature pleasure the restaurant-cars the "vagoni-ristorante. newsstands the charting typicaladvertisement. Other theaterswere soon opened. in Italy's important in and Tripoli. the discussed it on the itemappeared. . figuredas a movementof swallowand the pleasure of the eaten. of the arcade in thisframework. .. who was. Space."'5 Investigationof the sites of exhibitionin Naples establishesthat another area of the city that favored the rise and concentrationof cinematographic In 1899. bookstoreof for at the is sale follows: "Our ran as magazine magazine itself.'8 Literalassimilation in cinema was acknowledged in thisimaginary izing the assimilation. Timeand Architecture (Cambridge: Harvard University This content downloaded on Tue.this Neapolitan utopia suggeststhat the absorption of images is also an absorption of the subject in the image-an oral urge.only tentatively." possibility of filmscreeningson trains."17 major cities a curious In the January29. as it was leads concentratedaround the arcade and developingaround the trainstation. By the teens. 1908. 317-18.

Iron was the "structural" mark of railroad stations.Located in the arcade and around the railway.." to define the Neapolitan arcade. became the home of wanderers. 235-37. stroll.in the urban site of transit.22 Edoardo Notari.coined a Bende pirucchi. hardly "An arcade is a city.. It welcomed the flineur.. WalterBenjamin. "Due o trecose che so di Gustavo. pp." This content downloaded on Tue.."21 AroundPlato's Cave: UrbanWandering and Spectatorial Flfnerie Naples's arcade. completedjust a few years before cinema's implantation there. Hannah Arendt (New York: Shocken Books.. In Gaston Bachelard's phrase. p. The Poetics ofSpace (Boston: Beacon Press.described nostalgicallyby Walter Benjamin.and exhibitionhalls.developed ideas for films. he provides the favoritesojourn of the strollersand the smokers. Strascinafacendewould cruise the caf6s around the arcade. Neapolitan idlers also discussed and even got involved in aspects of filmproduction.the seventh art of motion pictures. strollingcould have assumed the importanceit did withoutthe arcades. 1983). strascinafacende arcade. withits chroniclersand philosophers. followingthe contemplative trailof urban wandering. Martinelli. a dwelling for theflaneur. signs of an industrialera which generated the "motion picture. 23. All were sites of transit.would be attractedto the cinema.between interiorand exterior. pp.the stampingground of all sorts of little withitschroniclerand itsphilosopher. and called attentionto the Galleria's functionin the genesis and implantationof film activities. and. 22."in Illuminations. 369. "Sotto il sole di Napoli.or look around.which was to become the medium of "unconsciousoptics."The genesis of cinema in Naples took place withinthis new perceptual geography.Acinhabited the (a Neapolitan name forfldneurs) cording to him. "The Workof Artin the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. 20.Plato's Cave Around Streetwalking 121 in favor opened up the urban space and exploded the divisioninterior/exterior of a fluid light space. "the unconscious is housed. See Martinelli.the host for those whose daily activity was to gather. ombrello "umbrella for idlers.he is as much at home among the facades of houses as a citizenin his four walls. "The Fldneur. Gaston Bachelard." in Charles Baudelaire:A Lyric Poetin the Era ofHigh Capitalism (London: Verso." p. bridges. The arcade was not an isolated phenomenon.even a world in miniature."It is in this world that the flaneuris at home. 10.. Elvira's son."20found in the cityscape itsappropriatehome. 1969).eventually ending up at the Cinema Vittoriafor a movie. which in Neapolitan dialect means jaminian expression. The streetbecomes mitiers. talkingof pictures. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. 36-37. 21. strolled and gathered under its umbrella. and intro. ed. But . an actor in all his mother'sfilms..23 provided the new mitier WalterBenjamin. who witnessed his replacement by the more modern "man of the crowd": The flAneur goes botanizing on the asphalt. 1969).signifiers of a new notion of space and mobility.

which precedes it and leads the subject reverie" by the "twilight from streetto street. One goes to the movies as a response to idleness.Angela Prudenzi. which best defines is the availability. free time.by of tion." Meanings are read on the surfaceof things:"The phantasmagoria of the flineur: reading profession. Rolf Tiedemann [Frankfurt Gesammelte Schriften..and Claver Salizzato. modern eroticism-.24 theyshare a fantasmatic Topoi of modernity.. Though not necessarilyin direct connection. 5 of Benjamin.origins and character fromfaces.one first returnsto Roland Barthes's notes upon going to the cinema.. In defining the nomadic dimension of cinematic fascination. ofLanguage(New York: Hill and modifiedaccording of the quotation has been slightly Wang." A step in the erratictrailthat takes one fromstreetto street.cinema inhabits remindsus of the And.. .. a Cinema. 1986)..25 Idleness.TheDialectics 26.indifferent its condensahuman . in collaborationwithJuditaHribar. the inoccupationof bodies . pp.and the inoccupationof bodies describethe "cinemasituation.finally buryingoneself .the arcade and the cinema are discussed in similar termsby Benjamin.it is not in frontof the film that one dreams-it is withoutknowing it. eds. of the is to be theirfunctionof site/sight. leisure. . . 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . by its absence of mondanit. and it . in his fragmentary (See vol. leisure..Kinomata (Bari: Dedalo.and also recognizedthe importanceof the arcade along the modification and unfinishedbook. "noir" of thecinema The cube. thingsappear divorced fromthe fortuitous their and of their juxtaposition sughistory production.) and the Arcades Susan Buck-Morss.. Annabella Miscuglioand Rony Daopoulo. . 1986).the idler'sway of loitering fldnerie. 1982]).lethargy. . the movie house (ordinarymodel) is a site of availability. space gaze.StefaniaParigi. . Das Passagen-Werk same lines. 1980)."Leaving the Movie Theater. intoa dim. Modi di produzione in del cinemaitaliano: la Titanus (Di Giacomo Editore. The darkness of the theateris prefigured . and mystical mysterious gests web where the most ancient occurrences are attached to those of today. who very early recognized the importanceof cinema in the cultural of space and perception. . filmspectator's: To the idler who strollsthe streets. (The translation to the original French. .anonymous. and Edoardo Notari's interview. .. placed within a discourse of circulationand the desire thereininscribed. Roland Barthes. even before one becomes a spectator.. Barthes suggests that. thatof the big city. 345-46. "a dream Time becomes connections."'26 in Guido Barlozzetti. am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.inoccupation. ed."in TheRustle 25.from poster to poster. 24. by the relaxation postures. (Cambridge: Project Benjamin ofSeeing:Walter This content downloaded on Tue.122 OCTOBER The overall deploymentof our Neapolitan microhistory suggeststhatarcades and cinemas are to be understood as formsof optical consumptionby a dimensionin mobile collectivity. . .eds. grounded in seeing. .. is also the color of a diffusederoticism. Vacancy.

28.hidden from it. to be at the center of the world. pp. [He] enters into the crowd as if it were an immensereservoir of electricalenergy. Or we mightliken him to a mirroras vast as the crowd itself. Like the flaneur. proposed by Benjamin himself. his scenario of MIT Press.he is. He is "I" an withan insatiable ering grace for the at instant "non-I. to see the world. The genealogy of spectatorshipreveals it as graftedupon the terrainof public "leisure pleasure. Charles Baudelaire. impartialnatures .The flineur is someone who sets up house amid the multitude. rejoicing in his incognito:seeing the world. The "dream web" of filmreception.. amid the ebb and joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .responding to each one of the movementsand reproducingthe multiplicity of lifeand the flickof all the elements of life. very way in which she describes the fldneursuggests that.and the spatiotemporal "physiognomic"impact-the spectatorialreading of bodily signs.." appetite every renderingand explaining it in picturesmore livingthan lifeitself. .in the midstof the fugitiveand the infinite. p.nonetheless." in The Painterof ModernLife and Other Essays(New York: Garland..at thecenterof the world. This content downloaded on Tue.the obscuringof the mode of production.including the urban writeras flaneur. 106.or to a kaleidoscope giftedwithconsciousness. although overlooked. 1978). "The Painter of Modern Life. Several reincarnations of this figurehave been suggested. and yet to remain hidden fromthe world-such are a fewof the slightest pleasures of those independent. passionate. flanerieand cinema share the montage of images.Adorno pointed to radio listeningas a kind of aural flanerie. on the basis of the public nature of the space where watchingtakes place. the film spectator. .embodies flanerie's mode of watchingand its public dimension. Benjamin mentions that "in the fldneurthe joy of watchingis triumphant"in his Charles Baudelaire. the juxtaposition.as a spectatorat home withinthe theater'scrowd. whichis alwaysunstableand fugitive.fugitiveand unattainable like the filmictext. the Though Buck-Morss herselfsees televisionas a modern extension of flanerie."Baudelaire describes here a fldneur-to-be.Plato's Cave Around Streetwalking 123 As perceptual modes.. 9-10. 1989). To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhereat home.28 As if recognizing "the site of traces left by the future. and the dynamicsof the exchange interieur/exterieur thereinembodied. flow of movement. 69." in Italy termed "dolce far niente"-an urban erotics where "thejoy of watchingis triumphant.with its geographical implantation. his metaphorof the kaleidoscope. it is an immense flaneur. The spectator is a princewho everywhererejoices in his incognito. 27.the film spectator sees withoutbeing seen. Baudelaire's picturesare more livingthan life itself.""27 A revealingpassage in Baudelaire's foreshadowsin theflaneur's writings joy the genesis of the filmspectator: For the perfect for the passionate spectator.p. a parallel with cinema is appropriate.

WolfgangSchivelbusch. is also produced by that other erated by the glass architecture grounded in a panoramic gaze. 3-20. historically eclipsed by the and reinscribedin the is transformed. in the filmspectatorial physically spatiovisuality ending between inside and shifts enforcesthis dynamic."31 of the arcades. heir of "light-space"-film. The wanderingurban spectator.The Railway Journey: York: Urizen Books." CameraObscura17 (May 1988).in a perceptualmachineensemble. interior. resultsin a new geography. reinvented. 1979). spectator. along the way."30 As a tactileappropriationof space.and one travelsin timeand space. 54. p. filmreceptionis of and theircaf6s. borders on the dwells filmspectatorship collectivity. Cinema's reincarnation.p.one is alone withothers. 113. Lynne Kirby. viewing positionthrougha framed image in motion. flaneur "travels. Baudelaire states.as the spectatortravels throughand along sites. On the relation between the train and the cinema. life of the big modern city."And. In a movie theater. arcades and the to related once more reception perception trains. Trainsand Travelin theNineteenth (New Century 31. WolfgangSchivelbusch. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." 32. panoramicallyfroma still-sitting Hence the train can be seen as "the mechanical double for the cinematic apparatus. This new visuality. similarly genspace. pp.124 OCTOBER the mirror-the "I" with an insatiableappetite for the "non-I"-akin to the of are paradigms often invoked to describe the effects Lacanian mirror-stage. The perfect flaneur is the passionate spectator. theyintroducea "panoramic vision.29 the into and turns an the street latter. "The Flineur. PrivateNovels. in a site of public architecture."32 permeationof filmmaking 29. see also Charles Musser. the cinematic apparatus. PublicFilms."Male Hysteriaand Early Cinema.becomes a street. October "Panorama of the 19th Century. their to railwayterminalsand arriving Streetwalker In his studyof travelin the nineteenthcentury.who developed it in his discussion of panorama painting. The perfect The modern spectator. in its various configuratermsof a relation between interior/exterior in turn.as well as issuingfantasmatic and outside. 81. 4 (Fall 1977).the Undergoing historicalchanges. Mayne.. See Dolf Sternberger. "an imaginaryprivate sphere fromthe vantage point of public space.. The very term "trackingshot" is a compelling index of the practiceby the language of the railroad. 30. formulatedthe relationbetweentrainand cinema. A voyage is produced by an apparatus of vision. tions. "The Travel Genre in This content downloaded on Tue."in particularp. the panorama paintingand the diorama. . figureof the film flneur is the film is the passionate filmspectator. showed thatthese who first new technologies profoundlyaffect perception: as they condense time and The railwayeffect. as in a train. Founded on the physical/emotional experience of both intimacy It offers of interior/exterior. Benjamin.flanerie shiftas. Schivelbuschderives the notionof "panoramic" perceptionfromDolf Sternberger.

which had linked the cinema not only with the railroad.Montreal. Societyof Cinema Studies Conference. but also of cinema. 1-2 (1985).::::::-:al Ilk :-: low :: . 47-60. ?Q : .. . 1989. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .exhibitioncatalogue. "Track Records."33 of the spectator-consumer does indeed suggestthatthe prototype of the public "panoramic" Here is a pointof departureforthe articulation intoissues of gender. Kirby.. in trainand film. 42-58. 1987). 33. is female.ElviraNotari. 2. MaryAnn Doane.vol.a despatialization of subjectivity occurs." Iris."Romances of the Rail in Early Cinema.May 1987. interest to a growingtheoretical MaryAnn Contributing Doane has argued that. and Annette Michelson. when the directionof the force acting on the body is changed': The Moving Image. Trains of Events: The Limits of in Junction and Journey: Trainsand Film (New York: The Museum of Cinematic Representation. 1895-1929: Institutions. Doane. 1991).. Ph.vol.and thisin turnhas sexualized Schivelbusch'spanoramic perception. dissertation. Aesthetics University Los Angeles.. 7.D." Modern Art. and inquiry dimensionof nineteenth-century technologies a centralquestion about space and desire: Is the For it is here thatwe confront female the most significant mobile gaze male? In the literatureof modernity. pp..TheRailroadand of California. nos.given these two machines of vision..'Nfama (Infamous Woman). Press. "'. p. 1 (1984)." Wide Angle. TheCinema." unpublished paper. no...Speaking of the "consumption" "If the filmframeis a kind of displaywindowand spectatorship consequently the intimateassociation of looking and buying a form of window-shopping. 1903-4: MovingToward FictionalNarrative. 27. 1924. and Gender.she states: withthe department store. Kirby. TheDesiretoDesire(Bloomington:Indiana University This content downloaded on Tue. pp.

" established.34Still today. 37-46. of cinema role in thisprocess. no. Going to the cinema triggereda liberationof the on a new terrainof intersubjectivity.a female The Italian term for prostitute is "passeggiatrice." Theory. Mobilizingthe gaze-the "panoramic" featureof cinand the freedomof ematic langauge-implied the appropriationof territories and historically literally figuratively." French "fairele trottoir" of femaleflanerie." the female subject'sencounterwiththe cinema constructs and fantasmatically. 2.The female and derive its pleasures spectator could thus enter the world of the flaneur as through filmicmotions. Cinema provided a formof access to public space. woman's gaze." 34. New German Critique vol. the cinema situation made it as film. Woman cannot wander.126 OCTOBER figure inhabitingthe arcade is the whore. 99-140. of a Greek philosopher." is indicative of the of "impossibility" female Neapolitan "peripatetica" equally for the an impossibility semiotically adjective"peripatetic. Textuallyand contextually. she could enjoy the pleasures of darkness and (urban) wandering. "The InvisibleFldneuse:Women 39 (Fall 1986). We may see filmspectatorship providingaccess to an eroticsdenied the female subject. The figureof theflaneuris traA male. The full expansion of woman's The Sandwichmanand the Whore: The Politicsof Loitering. 3 (1985). and participatesin." And the is a "streetwalker. the sphere of spatial mobilityas pleasure.triggeredby a to possible for the female experience a formofflanerie. pp. German and Spanish. female ditionally equivalentwas made impossibleby a divisionof sexual and confinedwoman into the space of realms that restrictedfemale mobility the private.As a result. pp. Moreover. fails to acknowledge women's experience of modernity.in general. of the configuration private/public. for example. and the Literatureof Modernity. gives license to venturing. female spectatorship maps out the spaces of the gaze as sitesto traverseand to trespass. we find prostitution identified as the female versionofflnerie: a male loitereris a flaneur."The Fldneur. such as.offered the joy of watching traveling. and JanetWolff. while desire of loitering.but the when indicatinga woman. literatureof modernityproduced by male authors. is not the attribute mark of prostitution. "streetwalking. See Buck-Morss. women's conquest of Female spectatorshiptriggers.The "institution" Cinema playsan important and its to the movies the act of (that is.In its embodiment of fantasy. and to liberatefromits connotationsof social ostracismand danger. a new geography. Alongside the Italian examples (including "battere and similarexpressionsin other languages. The Culture& Society.the "peripatetic" gaze of theflaneuris a positionthata woman has had to struggleto acquire. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . legitiviewingspace) historically going of public pleasure in leisure mized for the female subjectthe denied possibility time.35 fldnerie. It is not by chance that one of the firstacts of Italian feminismwas for women to "streetwalk" togetherthrough the cityat night. and "piripatiticienne. also indicatethe impossibility This content downloaded on Tue. enabling her to renegotiate. the for "streetwalking"). an occasion to socialize and get out of the house. il marciapiede" 35.

pp.the model of panoramic.36 The femaleflaneur."Ciak (April 1989). "A Desire of One's Own: Psychoanalytic Studies Studies/Critical Space. 39.vol."PMLA. see Lynn Spigel and Denise Mann. 1982)." streetwalker-in other words. where we may encountera "fldneuse du ma(1)l. a way to pleasure. 37. a female sense of the space of desire comes into play. reluctant of female processof historical fldnerie.a "fldneuse. Judith Mayne. and travels."Les Fldneursdu Mal(l): Cinema and the Postmodern Condition.."39 It means one more step toward a acquiring the right to be.Plato's Cave Around Streetwalking 127 territorial horizons is. all the way to its contemporary ern mall and its inscription in mall-cinema. and Hansen. however. Feminism and Intersubjective Jessica Benjamin. 1 (1989). pp.Given the analogy between and window-shopping. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "Mapping" this terrain of fantasymeans female wanderingtowarda femaledesire of our own. 5. "Women and Consumer Culture.A Selective Bibliography. for the female subject. 32-40.suspected of selling rather than buying pleasure. no. In Italy. Feminist (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 419-31. and Giampiero Brunetta. In this respect.Rosalind H." legitimized for the female in the formof shopping trips.Buio in sala (Venice: Marsilio. Urban wandering was historically body). as Anne film-viewing incarnationin the modFriedberg has claimed.see Giovanna Grignaffini. pp."WideAngle. 97. This content downloaded on Tue. Williams. positively." ReviewofFilm Quarterly and Video. 1989). For an historicalaccount of women's access to and attendance at the cinema in Italy. Babel and Babylon. vol. no.ed. the question of flanerie takes us. 85-106. mobilized perception. "Immigrantsand Spectators. offers yet another possibilityof 36. eds." in the arcade." in Teresa de Lauretis. the site of "window-shopping.Female spectatorship itself affirmation involvesa long. Through access to cinema. 1988). identity The Neapolitan implantationof a cinema analogous to "the display window. Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth See. pp. Attendance acceptance as a group activity undisturbed at a movie theaterby a woman alone is stillnot always assured. a female spectator. Piera Detassis. 2 (1982).37 understood as both selling(one's and buying.a journey in slow motion. 3 (May 1991). it was not until the 1950s that going to the cinema gained definitive for women unaccompanied by men. no. 1986).transposed fromthe glass architecture of the arcade and the railway to the cinema. Anne Friedberg.. Cheap Amusements: Century Women and Leisurein Turn-of-the-Century New York Working Press. (Philadelphia: Temple University 1986).an (urban) voyeuse. 38. 11. among others. "Female Identityand Italian Cinema of the 1950s. establishingher and desire in a space of consumption(of images).For furtherresearch work on the subject. "streetwalking. At issue is the practice of transgressive spaces. Kathy Peiss.vol.Female spectatorin a shift fromprivatization towardurban circulationand public ship originates leisure thatis closelyrelated to consumption. for"whatis experientially is the association of desire with a space. "Una sala vissuta pericolosamente."38 The female fldneurthus wanders across history. 106.Dream Worlds: France (Berkeley: Universityof California Press." in Giuliana Bruno and Maria Nadotti. is implicated as "streetwalker" withinthe sphere of the commodity." points to the overlapping terrainsof urban and spectatorialmodes that provide. 65-68. p. OffScreen:Women and Filmin Italy(London and New York: Routledge.

. may add.mobility: New discoveriescreate new environments. dichotomy modernity Triggeringdesire.." p. Kirby. women at the mostlywomen. . ..cinemas. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . for a good half-hour... to modes of access to the cinema for relative situation clarifiesthe historical It was Elvira time of Notari."Romances of the Rail. will finda way to sit next to her in the movie theater. The passers-by look... When it is already dark. 40. An article. the cinema has created cohabitingand abolishestraditional new habits.. put transgressively genders alter the the loci of encounters.entitled"The Cinema's Public.who subjected to. Justas tearingdown certainold sectionsof town to make boulevardscreates new waysof habits. venues. modernity.. Rather it is the the democratic new habit. suggeststheyenter for a momentjust to rest a little?A young man . who . and someone lured by all thatflesh cents to findhimselfin the middle of it. privatebehavioral modes. there comes a group of dressmakers . of the for the was true . and.. 3. and young people .theyalso house various of private/public.It is so easy in the dark! . the railway and the cinema are a "motor force of desire bringing social-sexualtypesin a public space of forcedjuxtaposition. fleeting fordespite providingforsocial events. In these sitesof pervasiveeroticism individuals from different the collectivity. Erotic adventuresoccur.. The public of the movie theateris composed mostly women.. the shockingchange of subject of..the spoiled bourgeoiskid next elegant lady sitting to the old man. A littledemocracyis enteringinto our mores. as well as workers and were and marginals.. social classes thatare enteringsociety with new attitudesand mores.which is triggering streetcar.... backgrounds.who pretended not to knoweach other... One finds the worker and the close to each other. This content downloaded on Tue...."share a temporary intimacy. arcades traverseand break up the formerly "consumed"by closed notion of the milieu. the social classes mixed together. . As Lynne Kirby suggests.128 OCTOBER theorizing female spectatorshipin terms of spatial desire. The same public spirit. of workers.willtouchhands and maybeexchange long and passionate letters."publishedin 1908 in the Italian filmmagazine Rivista pointsto itssociosexual dynamicsand fono-cinematografica."40 As deterritorialized a space of substitution spaces.and in the darkness the two of them. togetherdifferent and deception in general. in decides to spend twenty the dark..classes. we trains. the new invention. accompanied by her maid. Can you see that young lady. and in in close are "touch..

. Rivista no.." fono-cinematografica in Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema. Parading a gun. 12 Mar 2013 18:20:30 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . as well as upperstreetwalkers.. gave the female subject access to the dream-reverie erotic exchange that.41 As for streetwalkers This descriptionapproaches the termsof our "mobile" apparatus. pp.But a movie clerk attemptsto save the woman by warningthe spectatorsthatan enraged husband is coming into the movie house to unmask his wife'sinfidelity.materiali sul cinemaitaliano 1907-1920 (Venezia: Marsilio. Tra una filme l'altra. 1980). reprinted "II pubblico del cinematografo. and plunge into eroticjourneys of the gaze.A place of urban relaxation. of entering a movie theater? . may inhabitthispublic space. a sample is alwaysat the movies. February 1908. after wandering around the city. .or in between errands.Who has not had thisexperience. This content downloaded on Tue.takes place. a catalystfor the loiteringof passers-by. ends up persuading you.servants.. . one which attends the movie theaterby chance or casually. Dressmakers. Tragedia al cinematografo comicallynarratesa tragedyat the movie theater. eds. a space of darkness where sociosexual mores mightbe transgressed. followsher.. suspectingthatshe is meetingher lover.. .. Cinema is a response to (popular) leisuretime.Around Plato's Cave Streetwalking 129 There is also a public of idlers. and you enter . An Italian film produced in 1913 by Cines confirmsthis view. mix together. 41. The implantationof cinema in the cityscape. At the announcethe entire audience and ment.A woman leaves the house to go to the movies. 43-45. he is about to enter the theater.withinthe space of public sites.Women gain access to the public sphere and/asthe eroticsphere. Her jealous husband. gets up escapes. a stop on the idler's passeggiata.. The movie theater lures you . class ladies accompanied by maids. the constitution of spectatorof flinerieand to the ship. 11. the movie theater is a site of pervasiveeroticism.

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