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Site Specifics: lafuriaumana.it

By Jesse P. Finnegan

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Partisan Review

La Furia umana

La furia umana (aka White Heat) is a top-shelf online journal of cine-culture written by a multinational, multilingual constituency of contributors, with a special focus on whatsoever they damn please. Or in the words of their masthead: “[a] quarterly of theory and history of cinema, fire, daydreams, and drifts.”

Approaching its 14th installment, furia has an unabashed flare for the wonkish and even—gasp—academic, and every variety of -ist theory mobilizing its verbiage. But the organizing principle of the journal is the miscegenation of analytical disciplines and tradition. “The task of this magazine (space-time) [is to create] a mixture of film and Marxism, the current state of the art and speeches of political philosophy, a mix of literature and boxing.” Despite invoking this Aragon/Debord brand of intellectual radicalism, la furia umana still burnishes enough university press–safe essays to present a more down-toearth attitude of “serious but adventurous”—still plenty admirable and in short supply. The sometimes overreaching dynamic can have wondrous results, as when Monte Hellman, plied about his relationship with Minimalism, responds: “You’re speaking a language that’s completely foreign to me.”

Featuring a bountiful 30-plus articles per edition, and an imposing wild bunch of aesthetes in its contributor roster (Pedro Costa, Jonathan Rosenbaum, James Naremore, Noam Chomsky), the journal has devoted issues to various forms of genius, from Orson Welles to Joe Dante, often standing oeuvres and their historical renditions on their head. La furia umana sets itself apart by the “among friends” attitude of its best articles, spurning the context and rote protocols of point-making for breathlessly cinephilic, insight-ridden prose that feels like personal toss-offs in the best sense.

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