Europe of “Others”: Deviations, Mobility, and the Construction of Identities in Carmine Amoroso’s Cover Boy
Abstract: This article explores Carmine Amoroso’s Cover Boy (2006) through the themes of deviation, mobility and identity construction and from the textually analytical perspectives of the director’s use of space and mise en scène in establishing a dialogue on “otherness” in a cross-European context. Specifically, I argue that it is through Amoroso’s use of movement within the film’s principal setting of Rome and, in an overt way, cross-nationally that more intricate questions of the constructedness of Western (and privileged) European identity are able to emerge. Along the way, the problematics of identity are also revealed through Amoroso’s narrative interest in performance, both conventionally (through the arts and Italy’s fashion industry) and, more implicitly, as many of the characters in Cover Boy present themselves falsely, in varying complex ways. Further to this, the film’s themes of queerness are addressed not only in light of personal identity, but also under the rubric of national belonging and inclusion. As I shall examine, this (re)configuration of identities can then be read in the broader context of Amoroso’s aesthetic of (re)presentation, wherein the themes of performance and individual and collective identity are strikingly evoked. Finally, my analysis exposes the film’s sociopolitical and socioeconomic interest in “otherness” alongside Zygmunt Bauman’s essay “Europe of Strangers”—to which, I argue, the issues raised in the final moments of Cover Boy adhere.