Innuendo is an interesting English word, stemming from Latin but curiously not existing in modern Italian. The baroque neologism has been created in the legal environment for referring to parenthetic explanatory material introduced in a lawsuit. The very original context of the word “innuendo” is that of political trials around the crown of England in the 17th century. Innuendos were rhetorical means used at once by political activists to formulate concealed attacks against absolute monarchy and tyrants as well as by the machinery of the courts to accuse system opponents for being guilty of treason and other capital offences. In the legal kind of framework innuendos are either “true” or “false”. In an epoch where social realities are more than ever constructed on the basis of allegations that are all but covert, we are keen to spot in films every attempt to let drop a hint, insinuate, allude to and use every figurative instrument (as double-meanings, allusions, insinuations, apparently innocent words, allegations, rumors, suggestive remarks, etc.) in order to support by any means the own particular and interested narrative.

Through the sorrow all through our splendour

Don’t take offence at my innuendo (Queen)

Visual culture, being a bearer of instantaneous communication, is then often the most suitable vehicle to directly convey indirect suggestions, oblique allusions, tortuous insinuations, duplicitous allegations, e.g. different forms of figurative language with influential power.

Motion pictures, per se moving pictures – and moved pictures de facto -, convey emotions and reactions, that in their turn let take a stance towards what happens in that particular movie film, that is, towards behaviour and personality patterns, values, ideologies, philosophies of life, commons sense and social or political situations at large. Lying the expressivity of cinema intrinsically in the images themselves, one can wonder what these images get the viewer image and what they leave to the imagination.

Cinema is capable of constructing social reality and can through its powerful imagery influence the process and the content of imaging, by suggesting ideas, associations, and connections, giving certain explanations for the development of the story we learn about. Mostly the associations are directly and explicitly stated, but sometimes they are indirectly implied. Either way, it is left to the audience to make the suggested connections.

Narrative cinema, due to its teleological nature, makes use only of logic explanations for providing clarity, not giving much space to parenthetical ones as arthouse cinema does, because accepting the fragmentation of time. Some space in-between is therefore missed in modernist cinema, the liminal space which gives the chance to break boundaries of linear storytelling and land to the shores of postmodernist imaginativeness.

Our lives dictated by tradition, superstition, false religion

Through the aeons, and on and on (Queen)

As innuendos exist and are over and over again at work, we feel committed to unmask, uncover and lay them bare through the medium of cinematography.