Cinethetic Racism and Orientalism in Early Italian Exploitation Films

Waddell, Calum (2020) Cinethetic Racism and Orientalism in Early Italian Exploitation Films. Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film & Visual Narration, 5 (1). pp. 1-15. ISSN 2560-7065

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Cinethetic Racism and Orientalism in Early Italian Exploitation Films
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Focusing on such films as "The Man from Deep River" (Umberto Lenzi, 1972), "Last Cannibal World" (Ruggero Deodato, 1977) and "Black Emanuelle" (Bitto Albertini, 1975), this article suggests that the presentation of Asian "Otherness" in these films, in particular the "exotic girlfriend," is also developed to assist with the redemption of key white characters and our final appreciation of their grace under pressure. Nevertheless, with leading female stars, particularly the Burmese-born Me Me Lai and Indonesian Laura Gemser, these Italian exploitation cycles presented 1970s audiences with an influential vision of Asian star power. Whilst the roles may have been in the wider context of racist narratives and wrestled with a postcolonial panic about multiculturalism, Lai and Gemser remain largely unacknowledged for proving that commercial cinema could be grounded on the promise of a newfound, and sometimes confident, Asian sexuality.

Keywords:exploitation film, Orientalism, race and ethnicity, horror film, Transnationalism, Adaptation discourse, Sexuality, Italian film, Multiculturalism
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Film)
ID Code:42251
Deposited On:10 Sep 2020 09:02

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