By Catherine O’Rawe (auth.)
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This phenomenon, whereby fans of the film (and book) have imitated its protagonists and left their mark on the surface of the city by attaching padlocks to bridges, may be understood as an example of what Henry Jenkins (2006) famously dubbed “convergence culture,” that is, the contemporary reception culture in which types of “participatory” fandom interact with new patterns of media distribution and flow. Jenkins argues that convergence “does not occur through media appliances, no matter how sophisticated they may become.
On a Ducati motorbike discussion board a poster called ‘TommyVercetti620” declares that “the only decent thing about the film is the Ghezzi e Brian! When I said this to my girlfriend coming out of the cinema she blanked me for the rest of the evening. mamma mia, it was great. it costs more than my F4 bike!!!! 26 In the second film, the make of the bike switches to a Yamaha as part of the film’s strategy of product placement. In the early scene when Step returns to his brother’s house he finds his bike still in the garage under a cover; when he whips away the cover and dramatically unveils the bike the camera pans lovingly across its features in pure advertising style, with the romantic tones of Tiziano Ferro’s song “Ti scatterò una foto” (I’ll Take a Picture of You) in the background.
Scamarcio’s negiotation of his own physical beauty, both via interviews and even by means of self-parody in a film like L’uomo perfetto (Lucini, 2005), will also be addressed. The sexual objectification of the heartthrob additionally highlights the problem of the male pin-up, who of course troubles conventional ideas of the gaze and of hegemonic masculinity. However, I argue that in these teen films there is a complexity of the gaze, both the gaze directed on Scamarcio and that returned by him, which complicates his relationship both with implied spectators and with extradiegetic fans.