CineLab • Seminar

The Film-Phil Lisbon Seminars: Marco Grosoli

Looking Through the Eyes of Those Who Are No Longer: Death and Cultural Politics in 'Leonora addio' (Paolo Taviani, 2022)

June’s Film-Phil Lisbon Seminar (2023-2024) will be led by Marco Grosoli (IFILNOVA) who will talk about “Looking Through the Eyes of Those Who Are No Longer”: Death and Cultural Politics in ‘Leonora addio’ (Paolo Taviani, 2022)” The session is hybrid and will be held on June 17, 2024, at 15:00 PM (Lisbon time), at Colégio Almada Negreiros (room SE1) and online, via Zoom. To receive information about joining the meeting online, it’s mandatory to register in advance.


‘Leonora addio’ (2022) is the first film that Paolo Taviani authored without his brother Vittorio (who died in 2018) in more than 60 years. It is openly a film about death: it starts with the death of renowned writer Luigi Pirandello, then recounts the grotesque (real-life) journey of his corpse’s burial, cremation, exhumation, transfer (from Rome to Sicily) and then some over more than ten years, before showing in the last thirty minutes an adaptation for the screen of “The Nail” (Pirandello’s last novella, on a child murdering another child).

Obviously, multiple (Pirandello-esque) games of mirrors between Pirandello’s death and Vittorio’s can be glimpsed in the film. My talk will not only analyze these intricate games of mirrors (especially from the angle of Deleuze’s “crystal-images”), but also take a close look at Kaos (a 1984 film the Tavianis adapted from Pirandello, and overtly referenced in ‘Leonora addio’) applying Lacanian gaze theory. By reading these two films alongside one another, I will show that the thematization of death in ‘Leonora addio’ is the background against and through which a wider political subtext is brought forth on cultural heritage and the exploitation of its value. In this way, I hope to show as well that philosophical explorations of death in given films can easily be in fruitful dialogue with other interpretive and methodological frameworks discernible in the same films.


Marco Grosoli has been an Assistant Professor at Habib University (Karachi, Pakistan; 2016-2021), and a Research Fellow at the University of Kent in Canterbury (2012-2015, as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow), at Filmuniversität Konrad Wolf in Potsdam, at Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main (in both cases in 2022, as an Alexander von Humboldt Experienced Researcher) and at Università di Bologna (2023), where he also earned his PhD in Film Studies in 2010. Along with several academic papers and book chapters, he has authored an Italian-language monograph on Béla Tarr, and a book on the early days of French politique des auteurs (‘Eric Rohmer’s Film Theory’, Amsterdam University Press, 2018). As a film critic, he collaborates with various Italian film magazines, among which ‘FilmTv’, ‘Gli Spietati’ and ‘FilmIdee’.

Funded by the European Union (ERC, FILM AND DEATH, 101088956). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.