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Italian Political Cinema

Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film

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Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva

Despite the powerful anti-political impulses that have pervaded Italian society in recent years, Italian cinema has sustained and renewed its longstanding engagement with questions of politics, both in the narrow definition of the term, and in a wider understanding that takes in reflections on public life, imaginary, and national identity. This book explores these political dimensions of contemporary Italian cinema by looking at three complementary strands: the thematics of contemporary political film from a variety of perspectives; the most prominent directors currently engaged in this filone; and case studies of the films that best represent this engagement. Conceived and edited by two Italian film scholars working in radically different academic settings, Italian Political Cinema brings together a wide array of critical positions and research from Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The tripartite structure and international perspective create a volume that is an accessible entry-point into a subject that continues to attract critical and cultural attention, both inside and outside of academia.
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Cosetta Gaudenzi - Guido Chiesa and Postmodern Impegno

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Still capture from Io sono con te, by Guido Chiesa (Colorado Film Production - C.F.P., Magda Film, Rai Cinema)



 

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COSETTA GAUDENZI

Guido Chiesa and Postmodern Impegno

Guido Chiesa’s cinematic work spans from the mid-1980s, beginning with the American shorts Give Me a Spell (1985) and Black Harvest (1986), to the second decade of the twentieth century including his most recent feature film Io sono con te (2010) and his monograph Manuale di regia cinematografica (2011). Chiesa’s corpus is significant to the project of Italian Political Cinema not only because of his biography – he was in his early years a member of the far left extra-parliamentary organisation Lotta continua – but also because his major works, released from the onset of the Second Republic, have displayed a distinct political impegno moving from a national-historical orientation to a global-existentialist one.1

Of Chiesa’s feature films, four seem most illustrative of the director’s political impegno and its development over time: Il caso Martello (1991), Il partigiano Johnny (2000), Lavorare con lentezza (2004), and Io sono con te (2010). The term impegno, in the sense of political, civic, or ethical commitment and engagement, has been associated in Italy with the historical period covering the late 1940s to the 1960s, when certain politicians, writers, film directors, and intellectuals shared a common civic and political project based on left ideological grounds. In the last two decades, film critics have observed...

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