Un seno nuovo sotto l’albero
I follow up here themes raised in the previous post about the unruly and grotesque woman in the cinepanettone. I talked in that previous post about Christmas in love - not seen as one of the filone’s finest moments, and not a huge box office success in cinepanettone terms, but it retains its interest because of the manner it which it foregrounds the social construction of beauty. The film does this not only through its ambivalent presentation of the unruly Concy’s ‘right to desire’ I have already discussed, but also in the theme of aesthetic surgery introduced in another of its story strands, in which Christian De Sica and Sabrina Ferilli play a divorced couple of plastic surgeons. (The film’s concern with the body also extends to men and aging, the theme of the Boldi story strand, which like the Concy strand features an American guest star, in this case Danny De Vito.)
The film introduces the theme of aesthetic surgery in the meta-discursive context of a television feature on breast surgery, with a remark by the programme host (Livia Azzariti) about whether the widespread wish by teenage girls to undergo mammaplasty ‘sia da condannare o meno’. The judgmental frame is invoked ironically, of course – the cinepanettone has no intention of entering into a moralizing debate about aesthetic surgery. How could it, when the faces of the stars in the scene have so candidly been subject to surgical or other procedures in order to retain their screen-ready freshness?
De Sica (1951), Azzariti (1954), Ferilli (1964). You should see the portraits in the attic!
The loneliness of the long-distance scholar
As the scrupulous student of the cinepanettone I am, I went to see this year’s Vacanze di Natale a Cortina for a second time in the communal, I imagined, setting of a Roman cinema – the Cinema Reale, a two-screener in Trastevere.I went to the last show, ten thirty, on a Wednesday evening, and only noticed four other punters in the foyer when I was getting my ticket, two young couples for Il gatto con gli stivali (sic) in the other screen. As it turned out, I was completely alone for what was therefore a personal if not private screening of my film.