On this  special Caffè & Cultura Elena Past discussed the research she conducted to write her book, Italian Ecocinema Beyond the Human (Indiana University Press, 2019), which examines five Italian films shot on location. Analyzing the films Red Desert (1964), The Winds Blows Round (2005), Gomorrah (2008), Le quattro volte (2010), and Return to the Aeolian Islands (2010), her book unravels the relationships that the film production crews developed with the filming locations and the nonhuman cast members: playful goats, erupting volcanoes, airborne dust particles, fluid petroleum, and even the sound of silence. Elena talked about how filmmaking practice—from sound recording to location scouting to managing a production—helps uncover cinema’s ecological footprint and can offer new perspectives on the nonhuman world.

Elena Past | Associate Professor of Italian
Associate Chair, Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Wayne State University