Consider the following scene from Mario Camerini's 1939 black-and-white film I grandi magazzini: two protagonists, Bruno and Lauretta, seated in matching leather armchairs, talk about the various pieces of furniture that surround them and reflect on the diverse memories that each item evokes.1 The intimate setting prompts the couple to imagine what it might mean to embark on a possible shared future: “You don't want a wife, you want a couch!” insists Lauretta.2 Their identical armchairs flank a shiny round glass table; behind them a wooden chest of drawers features an embedded radio console. Although more bourgeois than avant-garde, with eclectic decorative items such as...

You do not currently have access to this content.