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Tempo is Money Sonic Representations of Labor in Some French and Italian Movies of the Early Seventies

Photo of Camille Chanod
Monday, November 22, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Camille Chanod

In the wake of 1968, oppressed social groups started to speak out against figures of authority in their own voices. These voices are at the core of Elio Petri's La classe operaia va in paradiso (1971) and Claude Faraldo's Themroc (1973). Both movies feature workers who struggle to make themselves heard as their language is impacted by the numbing rhythm of factory labor. In this paper, I will investigate how both directors use film soundtracks as a critical tool to put into question the impact of the factory over the workers' body. Most of the time, films about factory work draw a parallel between the automatized gestures of the workers and the rhythm of the images editing. A close reading-or should I say "close listening"-of soundtracks shows that, in these movies, it is instead the workers' language to be impacted. Petri's and Faraldo's movies not only investigate the impact of factory work on language, but also address the possibility to build new form of expression in the wake of the 1960s and 1970s social movement. This also allows both directors to reassess filmic language itself.

Camille Chanod is a PhD candidate in Romance Studies at Duke University. Prior to coming to Duke, she graduated from the Université Paris Diderot with an MA in Film Studies, and worked for various film festivals and film archives. Her PhD dissertation focuses on the use of sound in 1970s French and Italian movies.