In 1970s Italy, after the decline of the Spaghetti Western, crime films became the most popular, profitable and controversial genre. In a country plagued with violence, political tensions and armed struggle, these films managed to capture the anxiety and anger of the times in their tales of tough cops, ruthless criminals and urban paranoia. Recent years have seen renewed critical interest in the genre, thanks in part to such illustrious fans as Quentin Tarantino. This book examines all of the 220+ crime films produced in Italy between 1968 and 1980, the period when the genre first appeared and grew to its peak. Entries include a complete cast and crew list, home video releases, a plot summary and the author’s own analysis. Excerpts from a variety of sources are included: academic texts, contemporary reviews, and interviews with filmmakers, scriptwriters and actors. There are many onset stills and film posters.
This book is the first monograph in English that comprehensively examines the ways in which Italian historical crime novels, TV series, and films have become a means to intervene in the social and political changes of the country. This study explores the ways in which fictional representations of the past mirror contemporaneous anxieties within Italian society in the work of writers such as Leonardo Sciascia, Andrea Camilleri, Carlo Lucarelli, Francesco Guccini, Loriano Macchiavelli, Marcello Fois, Maurizio De Giovanni, and Giancarlo De Cataldo; film directors such as Elio Petri, Pietro Germi, Michele Placido, and Damiano Damiani; and TV series such as the “Commissario De Luca” series, the “Commissario Nardone” series, and “Romanzo criminale–The series.” Providing the most wide-ranging examination of this sub-genre in Italy, Barbara Pezzotti places works set in the Risorgimento, WWII, and the Years of Lead in the larger social and political context of contemporary Italy.
The Italian Gothic horror genre underwent many changes in the 1980s, with masters such as Mario Bava and Riccardo Freda dying or retiring and young filmmakers such as Lamberto Bava (Macabro, Demons) and Michele Soavi (The Church) surfacing. Horror films proved commercially successful in the first half of the decade thanks to Dario Argento (both as director and producer) and Lucio Fulci, but the rise of made-for-TV products has resulted in the gradual disappearance of genre products from the big screen. This book examines all the Italian Gothic films of the 1980s. It includes previously unpublished trivia and production data taken from official archive papers, original scripts and interviews with filmmakers, actors and scriptwriters. The entries include a complete cast and crew list, plot summary, production history and analysis. Two appendices list direct-to-video releases and made-for-TV films.
The history of Italian cinema includes, in addition to the renowned auteurs, a number of peculiar and lesser-known filmmakers. While their artistry was often plagued with production setbacks, their works--influenced by poetry, playwriting, advertising, literature, comics and a nonconformist, sometimes antagonistic attitude--were original and thought provoking. Drawing from official papers and original scripts, this book includes much previously unpublished information on the works and lives of post-World War II filmmakers Pier Carpi, Alberto Cavallone, Riccardo Ghione, Giulio Questi, Brunello Rondi, Paolo Spinola, Augusto Tretti and Nello Vegezzi.
Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace (1964) is commonly considered the archetypal giallo. This book examines its main narrative and stylistic aspects, including the groundbreaking prominence of violence and sadism and its use of color and lighting, as well as Bava's irreverent approach to genre and handling of the audience's expectations.
This is the first study that employs a materialist framework to discuss the political implications of form in the films of Lars von Trier. Focusing mainly on early films, Politics as Form in Lars von Trier identifies recurring formal elements in von Trier's oeuvre and discusses the formal complexity of his films under the rubric of the post-Brechtian. Through an in depth formal analysis, the book shows that Brecht is more important to von Trier's work than most critics acknowledge and deems von Trier a dialectical filmmaker. This study draws on many untranslated resources and features interviews with Lars von Trier and his mentor, the great Danish director Jørgen Leth.