Public Life, Imaginary, and Identity in Contemporary Italian Film
Edited By Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva
Claudio Bisoni - Paolo Sorrentino: Between Engagement and savoir faire
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Still capture from Le conseguenze dell’amore, by Paolo Sorrentino (Fandango, Indigo Film, Medusa Film)
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Paolo Sorrentino: Between Engagement and savoir faire
Even before La grande bellezza (2013) triumphed with the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014, the films of its director, Paolo Sorrentino, had been long considered works of ‘industrial’ auteur cinema:1 they could compete successfully in international festivals thanks to a negotiation of an individual visual style and characters that are firmly rooted within Italian society. Nevertheless, Sorrentino’s work has not found unanimous critical praise. Several unresolved questions have emerged in relation to the potential of the films as ‘engaged’ texts; questions that have tended to ask precisely how Sorrentino’s work fits into the history of Italian political cinema, and in what ways can it be viewed as an evolution of previous traditions.
The attribution of a political identity to a group of films is a process which will depend, on the one hand, on certain characteristics of the texts themselves, and on the other, on the various processes that take place during their cultural reception. For this reason, my analysis is based on the intersection of certain textual characteristics of Sorrentino’s films with their social reception and commentary, and I include particular emphasis on film criticism and the Italian press. In the following section, I read the ← 251 | 252 → style of...
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