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Author Topic: La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film by Michael Koven  (Read 15154 times)

broonage

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I find it hard to read, not so much vocab wise (I do a Jack Dee with the big words), but more in the sense that it is dry. I can't read a couple of pages like a fab press book and then put it down as i'm busy, if i do that I gain very little.

However, I have learned so far that Argento wanted various Beatle members to be in one of his early films and rather than Goblin he wanted Deep Purple. Voila.  :P
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Inspector Tanzi

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ver⋅nac⋅u⋅lar -still don't make much sense


adjective
1.    (of language) native or indigenous (opposed to literary or learned ).
2.    expressed or written in the native language of a place, as literary works: a vernacular poem.
3.    using such a language: a vernacular speaker.
4.    of or pertaining to such a language.
5.    using plain, everyday, ordinary language.
6.    of, pertaining to, or characteristic of architectural vernacular.
7.    noting or pertaining to the common name for a plant or animal.
8.    Obsolete. (of a disease) endemic.

noun
9.    the native speech or language of a place.
10.    the language or vocabulary peculiar to a class or profession.
11.    a vernacular word or expression.
12.    the plain variety of language in everyday use by ordinary people.
13.    the common name of an animal or plant as distinguished from its Latin scientific name.
14.    a style of architecture exemplifying the commonest techniques, decorative features, and materials of a particular historical period, region, or group of people.
15.    any medium or mode of expression that reflects popular taste or indigenous styles.
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"When I read the book of Mormon, I feel closer to Jesus Christ."

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I had no problem with the word vernacular, it's a word I frequently drop into conversation to make myself appear cleverer more clever. The context he kept using it in was fucking with my brain though.

That might have been where I was tripping up as I thought I'd pick up what it meant as I read but it just got more confusing.
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Paul

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I find it hard to read, not so much vocab wise (I do a Jack Dee with the big words), but more in the sense that it is dry. I can't read a couple of pages like a fab press book and then put it down as i'm busy, if i do that I gain very little.

However, I have learned so far that Argento wanted various Beatle members to be in one of his early films and rather than Goblin he wanted Deep Purple. Voila.  :P

It's been so long since I read the book I really don't remember much. I do know that Argento's first choice for FOUR FLIES was John Lennon though.
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broonage

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  • j'aime tous les dvds.

I find it hard to read, not so much vocab wise (I do a Jack Dee with the big words), but more in the sense that it is dry. I can't read a couple of pages like a fab press book and then put it down as i'm busy, if i do that I gain very little.

However, I have learned so far that Argento wanted various Beatle members to be in one of his early films and rather than Goblin he wanted Deep Purple. Voila.  :P

It's been so long since I read the book I really don't remember much. I do know that Argento's first choice for FOUR FLIES was John Lennon though.
I've had it for 5 or 6 years. I have so much catch-up to do with books that I only just opened it last week (it was in plastic). Great nick for book from 91!! I have Nightmare USA after this one.
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Jonny

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ver⋅nac⋅u⋅lar -still don't make much sense

Just wait until you read the book!  :-*

I think what the book is going on about is how the local populations in Italy saw these films and how the film makers made them to fit around their viewing habits. I think this is the vernacular part, the films have a different meaning to the local Italians than they do to us westerners, at least that's what I read it as.

The cinema's played the films on a constant loop, so to speak, whereby there wasn't really a start time. The people would go into the film halfway through sometimes and then wait to see the beginning after it had finished.

Because of this the films usually had a big recap at the end so that everyone who missed the start knew what was going on.

Having said that I haven't finished the whole thing so I may have some catching up to do.
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Letterboxd - "Henry Silva has a small zoo at home and his weapon of choice is a bazooka"

Kevin Coed

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I think what the book is going on about is how the local populations in Italy saw these films and how the film makers made them to fit around their viewing habits. I think this is the vernacular part, the films have a different meaning to the local Italians than they do to us westerners, at least that's what I read it as.


WRONG!!!!
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Jonny

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WRONG!!!!

 :-\

Explain it to me then please. Like I said I only read half of it and that's what I thought he was going on about. Wasn't any of it to do with how the local populations treated these films?, ie they were just a bit of entertainment that they watched quite casually and without much thought about the plot and thus that's how the screenwriters plotted the films so they could be enjoyed by the public even if they started watching the films 20mins in etc
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Letterboxd - "Henry Silva has a small zoo at home and his weapon of choice is a bazooka"

Kevin Coed

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"This book situates the discussion of the giallo within what I call 'vernacular cinema' as a replacement for the term 'popular cinema.' To look at a film from a vernacular perspective removes the a priori assumptions about what constitutes a 'good' film, how a particular film is, in some way, 'artistic.' Vernacular cinema seeks to look at subaltern cinema not for how it might (or might not) conform to the precepts of high-art/modernist cinema, but for what it does in its own right"

Clear now?
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Jonny

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"This book situates the discussion of the giallo within what I call 'vernacular cinema' as a replacement for the term 'popular cinema.' To look at a film from a vernacular perspective removes the a priori assumptions about what constitutes a 'good' film, how a particular film is, in some way, 'artistic.' Vernacular cinema seeks to look at subaltern cinema not for how it might (or might not) conform to the precepts of high-art/modernist cinema, but for what it does in its own right"

Clear now?

No, not at all. That's all gobbledy gook to me.  :-\

I was basing what I said on what I picked up from reading inside the book, not what is written on the back.
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Kevin Coed

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I was basing what I said on what I picked up from reading inside the book

That is from inside the book.
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Jonny

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That is from inside the book.

Pedantry mode kicking in...  :-\

What I meant was can you explain it to me in layman's terms, not Koven speak.
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Kevin Coed

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That is from inside the book.

Pedantry mode kicking in...  :-\

What I meant was can you explain it to me in layman's terms, not Koven speak.

No. Didn't you read what I wrote earlier? I'm thick.
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Jonny

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No. Didn't you read what I wrote earlier? I'm thick.

See, now I'm in a muddle 'cos I'm unsure how much I mis-interpreted the book because of you saying I was "WRONG!!!" and you can't explain to me why properly.

I think I may have to have a drink.
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Kevin Coed

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It's been a while since I read it, but basically 'vernacular cinema' to him is what the rest of the world would call a 'cult movie'. All the stuff that you thought it meant is Koven shoe-horning his background in folklore studies into it; rather muddying the waters to be honest.

No doubt someone will come along and tell me that I'm a plank and have completely missed the point.
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