Italian political cinema: Surveying a once glorious genre in times of anguish
Because in the Entralogos context I will dwell in some detail on the theoretical issues underpinning my interest in literature and culture, in the present pages I shall focus instead on some specific historical aspects of the dialectics between Italian society and Italian cinema. In particular, I shall concentrate on what it has become customary to describe by the term ?political cinema,? as well as some of its reverberations in a genre not normally associated with it: the ?comedy Italian style.? The two sections on cinema politico and commedia all?italiana will thus constitute the two main articulations of my argument. However, since I cannot assume a specific familiarity with post-WWII Italy among the interdisciplinary community of my readers, I shall introduce those two mini-chapters by a prologue presenting, in broad strokes, the relevant socio-historical context of the peninsula. At the end, I shall return to considerations of a more general cultural import about the challenges of the times in which we live.
A paper presented in February 2005 to the colloquium.
Italy; Political Cinema; Pasolini; 1970s