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Melodramatic Materials: The Roof and The Man Next Door

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-354
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Oct 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2016
DatePublished (current) - Jul 2016


Studies of the relationship between Italian Neorealism and Latin American cinema have often been limited to political analyses, or to superficial identification of formal similarities. This article aims to move beyond these approaches, proposing a comparative reading of Vittorio De Sica’s Il tetto/The Roof (1956) and the Argentine film El hombre de al lado/The Man Next Door by Cohn and Duprat (2009) which takes as its focus debates around ideas of modernity and affect, melodrama and the interior, and the understanding of architecture as media (in Beatriz Colomina’s terms). Where De Sica’s film offers architectural modernity and its periphery as a source of escape and hope, The Man Next Door uses a historical project of modernity, a Le Corbusier house, to develop a sceptical reflection on the possibility of community. The Roof, a critically neglected Neorealist text, thus allows a fresh perspective on (post)modernity and social conflict in contemporary Argentine film.

    Research areas

  • Neorealism, melodrama, Vittorio De Sica, modernism, affect, Argentina, history, architecture

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Intellect at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 394 KB, PDF document


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