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Italian Political Cinema

Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film


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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Clarissa Clò - Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi’s Trilogy: Comizi d’amore in the Digital Age


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Still capture from Italy: Love It or Leave It, by Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi (Hiq Productions, NDR, WDR, RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana (Rete 3), Arte)


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Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi’s Trilogy: Comizi d’amore in the Digital Age

Documentary film has emerged in the past decade as a veritable source of creativity and innovation in Italian cinema, with significant works of found footage, narrative non-fiction and journalistic investigation achieved with a variety of tools, from the vintage Super 8 to the latest digital technologies. Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi are part of a new generation of documentary film-makers committed to produce social and political ‘narratives of change’ with any low-tech or high-end means possible.1 Their three collaborative documentaries to date, Improvvisamente l’inverno scorso (2009), Italy: Love It or Leave It (2011) and What Is Left? (2014), employ a combination of experimental strategies and distribution practices that have proven successful in reaching different audiences and raising social awareness in Italy and abroad.

In a consciously self-reflexive effort, all three films star the directors themselves, Gustav and Luca, as protagonists. As in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Comizi d’amore (1964), his inquest on sex, in which the body of the homosexual poet was constantly on screen – so much so as to prompt Enzo Siciliano to define the film as ‘il suo più spassionato autoritratto’ [his most dispassionate self-portrait]2 – in their documentaries Hofer and Ragazzi are...

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