A Tale of Two Women in Two Countries: Suzanne Chantal and Paola Ojetti’s Professional Careers in the Film Press (1930s-mid 1940s)
Keywords:Suzanne Chantal, Paola Ojetti, Film Criticism, Gender History, Film Journalism
This essay compares the professional experiences of Suzanne Chantal and Paola Ojetti in 1930s France and in 1930s and early-1940s Italy, respectively. Beyond their very different political, national, and cultural contexts, these women both occupied central positions within some of the most influential film periodicals of the era: Suzanne Chantal for Cinémonde and Paola Ojetti for Film. This study is mainly based on sources which enable us to take a closer look at their activities, their working conditions, and their feelings regarding the treatment they received while working for these periodicals. Sources include Suzanne Chantal’s memoirs and her personal diaries from the late 1930s, kept by her family, and Paola Ojetti’s extensive working correspondence, preserved in the Fondo Mino Doletti of the Biblioteca Renzo Renzi at the Cineteca di Bologna, as well as other correspondence documents preserved in Italian archives. This paper explores the working trajectories and social positioning made by these two largely forgotten but powerfully significant figures in order to establish themselves in a predominantly male professional and cultural environment, while at the same time questioning the limits of their integration. By shedding light on microhistory and questioning gender issues, this article turns its attention primarily to working practices, women’s paths, and social networks of film press and film criticism history.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Stella Scabelli, Myriam Juan
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