Figlie di papà? Adolescent girls between the ‘incest motif’ and female friendship in contemporary Italian film comedy
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This article explores the function of the adolescent girl in contemporary Italian film comedy, particularly when the figure is juxtaposed with the adult generation. Drawing upon Anglophone theory and the Italian social context to outline the significance of an ‘incest motif’ (Rowe Karlyn, 2011), it shows how a range of fantasies about the girl inflect her representation, looking at her role as a form of youthful elixir, and a lesson in adult male maturity, as a tentative acknowledgement of teenage female sexual agency, and finally as a source of strengthened female bonds. Concepts of ‘girlpower’ and female sexual agency jostle for attention with attempts to re-establish white male centrality, and sometimes challenge our assumptions about what that teen female agency might look, sound and act like, although it remains persistently middle-class and white. Bonds between girls and women play an increasing role in a range of approaches, serving to break down the polarities of ‘at risk’ and ‘can do’, of ‘adoration and denigration’ (Projansky, 2014) in depictions of girlhood, although with a continued emphasis on adult-child relations, rather than friendships between girls, we are still a long way from a cinematic comedy that can consider the girl on her own terms and as she is ‘now rather than as future adult’ (Kearney, 2009).
© Italian Studies at the Universities of Cambridge, Leeds and Reading 2015. Author's accepted version deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/0261434015Z.000000000119.
Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 1 - 25
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