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                    VIDEO-GRAPHIC ESSAYS

This video-graphic work is produced for research/teaching purposes only, in accordance with fair use/ fair dealing policies. 
All my video-essays can also be seen directly on my vimeo page


Breaking the Silence and Singing (2022)

Breaking the Silence and Singing is probably my most personal video essay to date. It's about my experience in my elementary school choir in Venice. My teacher never let me sing because I sang terribly. It ends with a liberating sequence from Middlebury college summer camp -a life changing experience in so many ways.
This video-essay was produced for the AEGS Conference Futuridades Feministas in Valparaíso, Chile (dec. 2022). The conference venue was the former prison of political prisoners of the Pinochet Regime -now the Parque Cultural (a cultural and congress center.) Quite an impressive backdrop to talk about silence and freedom.

Aftersound: Acoustic Intertextualities and Sensory Memory (2022)

This video essay establishes aural connections between three films —XXY (Lucía Puenzo, Argentina, 2007), Rainbow (Paco Leon, Spain, 2022), and La Boum (Claude Pinoteau, France, 1980) and features five young people representing a broad spectrum of genders and sexual orientations (i.e. intersex, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight).The three films share a similar use of transdiegetic sound: their music crosses the diegetic borders over and over again. The shifting of different perspectives and soundscapes blurs the frontiers between interiority and exteriority, between specificity and sense of unreality, between repetitions and recollections, and overcomes gender binarisms. In this sense, by drawing on Laura Mulvey's concept of "afterimage", this piece comments on the video essay itself, as a "deja-hearing", that is, the uncanny materialization of a memory triggered by sound.

Improbable Dialogisms or the Art of Flying (2022)

The iconic ending of the film "Thelma and Louise" (directed by Ridley Scott, and scripted by Callie Khouri, 1991) has divided the critics across three decades. While some believe it is a powerful feminist statement, others have attacked it arguing that it suggests that the only option for women with agency is suicide, and Thelma and Louise's death is their ultimate punishment for their non conformity. This video essay pretends to deconstruct Scott and Khouri's controversial ending by putting into dialogue "Thelma and Louise" with two other unrelated films —namely Vittorio De Sica's "Miracolo a Milano" (1951) and Spielberg's "E.T." (1982). Like "Thelma and Louise", "Miracolo a Milano" and "E.T." include sequences of police's overreaction and violence against vulnerable people (the homeless in Vittorio de Sica's film and the children in Spielberg's film), but with opposite outcomes —their protagonists prevail. This "improbable" intertextuality allows me to create an alternative imaginary of fantasy and freedom for the two protagonists. Rather than death as punishment, the two women's fall is turned into a flight. In this sense, following Helene Cixous, flying ("voler" in French) becomes ultimately the subaltern's gesture of defiance.
Furthermore, by suspending and defamiliarizing the default identification with its implied (i.e. straight) viewers, the deformation highlights the lesbian undertones of Scott and Khouri's film.

Queering Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (2022)

Virginia Woolf and Laura Mulvey are put into dialogue in this video essay that performs a "reading of resistance". In her essay "Reading" (1919), Woolf talks about the “obstinate resistance reading” that is the deciphering of texts that do not yield their meaning easily: it implies to "stop, go back, try out this way and that, and proceed at a foot's pace". Almost one century later, Laura Mulvey introduces the concept of "delayed cinema": we can now slow the flow of film, and notice details that we did not see before. She makes a video in which she delays the opening sequence of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", a video included and reviewed by Catherine Grant in the first issue of [in]Transition. I use the same footage to pay attention and reveal the queer undertext that undermines the default (heteronormative) reading of the film.


Produced out of the Workshop on VideoGraphic Criticism at Middlebury College, Summer 2019

"Not a Fairy Tale: Five Takes on Francesca Comencini's Un giorno speciale: The Mother.

The character of the mother in Francesca Comencini's Un giorno speciale is compared with the mothers of Visconti's Bellissima and Fellini's La Strada. Moreover the videoessay presents a possible intertextuality between Un giorno speciale and Hitchcock's Psycho and The Rear Window.

"Not a Fairy Tale: Three Takes on Francesca Comencini's Un giorno speciale: The End"

The end of Un giorno speciale is compared with fairy tales happily ever after, and with The Graduate's and  Pretty Woman's enigmatic open endings.

"Not a Fairy Tale: Three Takes on Francesca Comencini's Un giorno speciale: The Survivor.

Water, fish and butterfly symbolism in Un giorno speciale is compared with a similar imagery in Mike Nichols' The Graduate  and Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank. Produced out of the Workshop on VideoGraphic Criticism at Middlebury College, Summer 2019

Emily Dickinson Translated into Images: 6 video-graphic essays

These 6 video-graphic essays were  produced for an Arts Night Plus event at the Emily Dickinson Museum in collaboration with the Translation Center of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They put into dialogue Dickinson's protomodernist verses (and their translation into French, Italian and Spanish) with modernist women artists from France (filmmaker Germaine Dulac), Italy (filmmaker Elvira Giallanella) and Spain (painters Remedios Varo, Maruja Mallo and Angeles Santos).


Miradas encadenadas: una lectura de Palabras encadenadas de Laura Mañá

Este video-ensayo ilustra algunos de los recursos utilizados por Laura Mañá en su película Palabras encadenadas para

deconstruir la violencia de la mirada masculina -tanto intradiegética (la violencia del protagonista contra su víctima), como simbólica, (la violencia perpetuada contra la mirada de la mujer en la historia del cine) 

 Idea, diseño y montaje de Barbara Zecchi

7 min., 2016

Margarita Alexandre: Una pionera detrás de la cámara

Este video-ensayo narra mi primer encuentro con la directora española Margarita Alexandre y el principio de nuestra amistad. Hace un estudio panorámico de la producción de Alexandre (sus películas Cristo, La ciudad invisible y La gata) con detalles y anécdotas contadas  por la misma pionera sobre su historia personal, desde España a Cuba y a Italia.

Dirección y guion: Barbara Zecchi

Montaje: Mikel Monleon

Con la presencia de Margarita Lobo

Rodado en Madrid y en Massachusetts

20 min., 2010

Women Pioneers of the Camera: the Off-Screen 

De forma sistemática, la historia del cine ha desacreditado a sus pioneras omitiendo representarlas y nombrarlas. Sus logros han sido borrados por los guardianes del canon (masculino). Por medio de este video-ensayo creativo, indico los errores de la crítica y rescato a algunas pioneras devolviéndoles su mirada.


Dirección y guion: Barbara Zecchi

Montaje: Barbara Zecchi

Narración: Dolores Juan Moreno

Rodado en Massachusetts

38 min., 2014

Sexualidad después de los 50: la mujer invisible en el gynocine 

Por medio de este video-ensayo denuncio, primero, que el cine comercial invisibiliza y menosprecia  a las mujeres de cierta edad. En Hollywood los actores que envejecen siguen teniendo papeles interesantes, mientras que las actrices desaparecen tan pronto como pasan el umbral de la mediana edad (cada vez más pronto); en segundo lugar estudio como, por el contrario, las cineastas dan espacio en sus películas a mujeres mayores. En su corpus identifico tres formas recurrentes de representación: la reproducción de modelos tradicionales de placer visual, la desexualización y el (homo)erotismo táctil.

Dirección, guion y montaje: Barbara Zecchi

Narración: Dolores Juan Moreno

19 min., 2015

Versión original en español

The Hybridization of the Gaze

Is Rick Deckard a replicant? Many film critics seem to believe so. By using Homi Bhabha's theory of hybridity, in this video-essay I argue the contrary. Deckard is a human being. The gaze of the discriminated (the replicant, Rachael) turns back upon the eye of power (the blade runner), and the observer becomes the observed. In this sequence Deckard glimpses at Rachael and his eyes start to glow. It's the result of a hybridization processes. Rachael's reflective gaze has influenced the blade runner's way of looking. 


Concept and design: Barbara Zecchi 

2 minutes, 2017

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