Gérard Depardieu constitutes an interesting case study both as a social phenomenon and as a simple cinematic sign. His strong and magnetic screen presence inspired the imaginary of several authors of modern cinema (like Maurice Pialat, Marco Ferreri and Bertrand Blier) to the point that recently he became to be known as a kind of dir-actor, ‘guarantor’ of the quality of experimental projects such as those of Guillaume Nicloux (The End) or Benoît Delépine (Mammuth). Unlike other movie stars, who chase after their beauty and youth, Depardieu doesn’t care about his weight: he wills the medium to accommodate his hulking and aged body. This paper aims first to investigate Depardieu’s acting style, based on the rejection of naturalism to the advantage of naturalness: despite his theatrical education, Depardieu has been able to adapt his gestures and his movements to the eye of the camera. The second goal of this paper is to detect, in performances like Welcome to New York or Valley of Love, some aspects of the masculinity evoked by Depardieu in the Seventies, for example the combination of feminine grace and animal brutality. At the age of seventy – in conclusion – this provocative star appears a kind of revenant, decadent but overactive incarnation of the persistence of modernity in the era of ‘cinema after cinema’.
Alberto Scandola è professore associato di Cinema, fotografia, televisione presso l’Università di Verona. Si occupa prevalentemente di cinema moderno e contemporaneo, con particolare attenzione alle questioni dell’attorialità e del divismo. Co-dirige con Giulia Carluccio la collana «Actors Studio» (Edizioni Kaplan) ed è autore di svariati saggi e articoli apparsi in volumi collettivi e su riviste. Tra le sue monografie: Ingmar Bergman. Il posto delle fragole (Torino, Lindau, 2008), Ornella Muti (Palermo, L’Epos, 2009), L’immagine e il nulla: l’ultimo Godard (Torino. Kaplan, 2014) e Greed (Udine, Mimesis, 2017). email@example.com