Cultural History, Cinema and the Italian Post-War Diaspora in Britain
Chapter 6 Cultural Memory
L’Angelo Bianco (Matarazzo, 1953) is a significant example of a film whose narrative sequences were mentioned repeatedly during some of these sto- rytelling events. Yvonne Sanson plays two roles in this film: the nun and the girl who Nazzari falls in love with.1 Sanson’s role as the nun echoes the same role that she played in her previous film, I Figli Di Nessuno (Matarazzo, 1951), where the Nazzari character cannot have the woman that he has fallen in love with because she is a nun.2 The subversion of the predictable plots that Sorlin discusses has to be understood as part of the success of these films within financial terms, but it is also their suc- cess as remaining models that carry memories into contemporary Britain that is being marked out here.3 Although the mode of telling the stories would often happen spontaneously and was never pre-planned, various aspects of this film would either be recounted in parts or in considerable detail. Interruptions to the story, such as the espresso cof fee being served or another guest arriving, would ensure a pause before the drama would unfold once more. Sometimes the wife of the storyteller would use this pause as an excuse to allow guests to move on to another topic if they wanted to, and she would joke that the audience had heard the tale many times before (and in various versions). But more often than not, the story was told as an illustrative moral tale that relates to a...
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