Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film
Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva
Marcia Landy - Nanni Moretti by Nanni Moretti: The Biopic as Counter-History
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Still capture from Caro Diario, by Nanni Moretti (Sacher Film, RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana (Rete 1), Banfilm, La Sept Cinéma, Canal Plus Productions)
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Nanni Moretti by Nanni Moretti: The Biopic as Counter-History
Nanni Moretti is a controversial film-maker, his films described as ‘almost perversely unclassifiable’;1 his persona is identified as a ‘narcissist’, ‘egocentric Cassandra’, ‘egoiste’, ‘liberal ironist’, bad historian, postmodernist, even poor stylist. Moretti’s uses of himself and of other actual or thinly veiled political figures are responsible for some of the confusion, hostility, or alternatively, admiration generated by his films. His tendency towards the language of personal expression belongs to a form that vacillates between biography and autobiography, ‘elite’ and popular culture, documentary and fictional forms that can be fruitfully considered as hybrid and ‘marginalising’ creations.2 Moretti uses himself and his fictional personas in protean fashion to create a world that involves personal and social history, geography, sexual politics, cinema history, the physical body as political body, gestural, cinematic and written language.
From Ecce bombo, Io sono un autarchico, Palombella rossa, Aprile, Caro diario, La stanza deli figlio, Il caimano, and Habemus papam, Moretti’s cinematic works are dependent on his constant invocation of alter egos, fictional and actual figures, a self-conscious using them to sharpen his cinematic political inquest. Having acknowledged that he doesn’t like directors who use their films to change people’s minds3 the question becomes ← 239 | 240...
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