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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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Pierpaolo Antonello - Il divo: Paolo Sorrentino’s Spectacle of Politics


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Still capture from Il divo, by Paolo Sorrentino (Indigo Film, Lucky Red, Parco Film, Babe Films, StudioCanal, Arte France Cinéma, Paris, Sky Cinema)


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Il divo: Paolo Sorrentino’s Spectacle of Politics

Il divo (2008) is the fourth feature film written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, one of the most interesting film directors who have emerged in Italy in the last decade. He came to the forefront of critical attention in 2004 with his second movie, the psychological thriller Le conseguenze dell’amore. The film was admired for its extremely stylish and exuberant cinematography, for the psychological complexity and quirkiness of his characters, and for the aphoristic style of his screenwriting – all constant features in Sorrentino’s films, which found a further powerful exemplification in what has been regarded as his most accomplished work to date, Il divo, which was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

Il divo could be described as the biopic of the former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, one of the most controversial political figures of Italian Republican history, appointed to the job seven times between 1972 and 1992. The narration spans the period from the seventh election of Andreotti as Prime Minister in 1991, to his failed bid to the Italian Presidency in May 1992, until the trial in which he was accused of collusion with the mafia. To call it a biopic is...

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