August 5, 2010 at 9:16 am (Conference Information, Conference Publication)

We’re very excited to promote the latest edition of the Italianist academic journal which features a number of materials from the conference. Included are excellent articles from many of our participants, in addition to adaptations of the round table interventions of Dr. Guido Bonsaver, ‘Themes and challenges for Italian film studies’, Dr. Catherine O’ Rawe, ‘The Italian spectator and her critics’, and Dr. Fabio Vighi ‘Nonsense that matters: some observations on psychoanalysis and Italian cinema’. Pauline Small’s paper has also been published, entitled ‘The New Italian Film History‘, and the organizers have contributed both a review of the conference and an article on the work of Cinemonitor

Futher information can be found here.


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Conference Review

August 5, 2010 at 9:09 am (Conference Information) ()

Da Sodoma a Gomorra: Framing Crisis and Rebirth in Italian Cinema
University of Warwick, 22-24 January 2010.

Since the 1970s, when Pier Paolo Pasolini released his scandalous Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (1975), Italian cinema has alternately been identified, critically and commercially, as paralysed by crisis or on the verge of ‘re-birth’. In 2007-10 alone, local anxiety about the condition of Italian cinema as a key element of national cultural production, expressed in critical debate in the national press, has been counter-balanced by the international success of films such as Gomorra (Matteo Garrone, 2008). Within this contested critical and public arena, this conference sought to bring intellectual precision to the interpretation of Italian cinema in the past four decades, by sharpening the focus on specific theoretical issues and by mapping cinema production and reception within the broader contexts of Italian social and cultural history.

Organized by Jennifer Burns, Mariarita Martino Grisà and Dom Holdaway (Italian), the conference was generously supported by the HRC and the Department of Italian at Warwick, as well as by the AHRC and the Society for Italian Studies. It brought fifty international scholars to the University of Warwick for three days of engaging debate, including keynote lectures from two of the most established specialists of Italian cinema, Professor Vito Zagarrio (Roma Tre), who spoke on digital film-making and contemporary developments, and Emeritus Professor Peter Bondanella (Indiana), who outlined a critical history of Italian film studies. The three days included a wide range of panels, encompassing theoretical approaches informed by issues of gender and sexuality, psychoanalysis, politics and ideology, and including studies of immigration and auteur cinema. The conference closed with a lively panel discussion in which four prominent UK-based researchers in Italian screen studies articulated conclusions from the conference panels in the context of their own areas of expertise. A particularly powerful element in this closing discussion, as well as in individual papers and responses throughout the conference, was an interrogation of the lack of serious critical attention hitherto afforded to popular Italian cinema. This is one example of how the conference achieved its aim of pinpointing key areas for development within Italian screen studies, so responding to a call articulated emphatically by Alan O’Leary and Catherine O’Rawe, in a 2008 special edition on cinema of the journal Italian Studies, for a ‘more robust theoretical debate’ in the area.

Jennifer Burns, Dom Holdaway
Department of Italian

(This review is published in the Humanities Research Centre at Warwick’s newsletter. More info on the HRC at http://go.warwick.ac.uk/hrc )

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December 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm (Conference Information)

The lovely folks over at Cinemonitor, in Rome, in collaboration with Mariarita have published an article about the conference, which can be accessed here.

Check it out!

Mariarita & Dom

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Programme, Registration

December 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm (Conference Information, Delegate Information)

Registration for the conference is now open, and the relevant file can be accessed on the main conference website, here.

We are also excited to announce a provisional programme for the event, which is as follows:

Da Sodoma a Gomorra: Framing Crisis and Rebirth in Italian Cinema (from the 1970s to the 2000s)
Provisional Programme

Friday 22nd January
10-11 Registration and coffee (graduate space)
Introduction and Welcome: (graduate space) Head of Department Dr. Jennifer Burns, with Mariarita Martino Grisa’ & Dom Holdaway

11-12.30 Parallel Session
1a. Modes of Rebirth:  Genre and popular cinema (graduate space) (Chair: tbc)
Uva, Christian – Italia Calibro 38
Delon, Nicoletta – Nostalgia & the 1970s Poliziesco: The Anatomy of the Myth and its Nation
Marklund, Anders – Reassuring Relationships? Romance and Family according to Popular Italian Cinema since the Millennium

1.b Nostalgia and Ambiguity: Between History & Memory (H403) (Chair:tbc)
Marchetti, Silvia – Italian (and “Other”) Cinema and the Shoah: Rebirth or Identity Crisis?
Caoduro, Elena – Nostalgia Canaglia: The Role of the Melancholic dimension in in Recent Italian Historical Films
Zamboni, Camilla – From Man to Musselman: Disruption Through Liminality in Lina Wertmuller’s Seven Beauties

12.30-1.30 lunch (graduate space)

1.30-2.30 Parallel session
2a. Languages of Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Cinema (H545) (Chair: Mariarita Martino Grisa’)
Carroli, Piera – ‘La sconosciuta’: Irena’s Vengeance and Reclaim
Marini, Alessandro – Ossessione e modernità in ‘Primo amore’ di Matteo Garrone

2b. Per ridere sul serio: Comedy and denuncia (H403) (Chair: Dom Holdaway)
Watters, Clare – ‘Fascisti su Marte’: Parodying the Past and Present
D’Amelio, Maria Elena – Virzì e la favola nera.

2.30-3.30 Keynote
3. Prof. Vito Zagarrio (H058)

3.30-4.00 Break – tea/coffee

4.00-5.30 Plenary session
4. Italian cinema: New Directions & Applications (H058) (Chair tbc)
The Mission of Cinemonitor – Electronic Link with ‘La Sapienza’.
Ceraolo, Francesco – Vittorio Storaro e l’Univisium. Una possibile nuova frontiera italiana per il cinema digitale
Serio, Adalgisa – “ Camera! Action: the tutor as facilitator”
5.30-6.30 drinks (Humanities Concourse)
6.30.  film screening (tbc)

9.00-9.30 Registration/Coffee

9.30-11.00 Parallel session
5a. Adjusting the Focus: Pan-European Perceptions of Italy (H 545) (Chair: TBC)
Douglas, James – Configuring Alterity Migrations: A Third Cinema Approach in Gianni Amelio’s  ‘Lamerica’
Keating, Abigail – Italian Film in the Light of Transnationalism: Aesthetics, Representation, Space
Nastri, Manuela – Dalla lotta di classe all’autocrazia di una classe suprema. Il concetto di italianità all’estero, analisi di alcuni film presentati nell’ultimo decennio al festival di Cannes.

5b. The Real, Reality, Realisms (H052) (Chair: TBC)
Leonardo, Laura – ‘Crisis and re-birth or re-birth and crisis: Italian neo-neorealism.’
Calabretta-Sajder, Ryan – (title TBC)
Cori,Emiliano – Greek Tragedy, Screen Adaptation and Contemporary Reality: ‘Luna rossa’ by Antonio Capuano
11.00-11.30 coffee (Humanities Concourse)

11.30 – 1.00 Plenary session
6. Modes and Questions of impegno (H 545) (Chair: Jennifer Burns)
Antonello, Pier Paolo – Reading ‘Impegno’ (and Realism) Against the Grain: From Moretti to Sorrentino
D’Onofrio, Emanuele – Film Composers & Impegno in Contemporary Italian Cinema
Bieberstein, Rada – How to Recover the Real – Italian Cinema since the 1990s

1.00-2.00 lunch (graduate space)

2.00-3.30 Plenary session
7. Constructing Cinematic Masculinities since the 1980s (H052) (Chair: tbc)
O’Healy, Áine – Masculinity, Abjection, and the Melancholic Autore: Portraits of the Filmmaker in Crisis
Pitt, Roger – ‘È difficile diventare grandi in Italia!’: The Traumas of Becoming in Nanni Moretti’s La stanza del figlio (2001)
O’Rawe, Catherine – Masculinity, Otherness and the Cinema of ‘Impegno’

3.30-4 tea/coffee

4.00-5.30 Keynote
8. BONDANELLA (Pauline Small as respondent) (H052)

5.30-6.30 Drinks (Humanities Concourse)

7.30 dinner (Scarman House)

Sunday 24th January
9.00-9.30 Registration/Coffee

9.30-11.00  Plenary session

9a. The Gendered Pro-Filmic Space: Possession, Confinement, Domesticity  (H545)
Andrews, Eleanor – Whose Place is it Anyway? Gendered Spaces in the work of Nanni Moretti
Ballarotti, Valeria – Tutta casa e casino: Female Confinement in two Italian Fascist-themes Films from the 1970s.
Baschiera, Stefano – Buongiorno notte: a petit bourgeois house in via Gradoli

9b. Re-evaluating Auteurist Art: Psychoanalytic Strains (H403) (Chair: Mariarita Martino Grisa’)
Riccobono, Riccobono, Rossella – Crisi, morte e rinascita di una poetica cinematografica dell’ ’anima’: da 8e1/2 di Federico Fellini a Il caimano di Nanni Moretti.
Benincasa, Fabio – Marco Bellocchio: decadenza e rinascita di un film-maker “ribelle”
Russo, Paolo – “What power does to the human body”: Sadism and pornography in Pasolini’s Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom

11-11.30 coffee (graduate space)

11.30-1.00 Parallel session
10a. Staging the Crisis from the Regional to the Global  (H545) (Chair: tbc)
Marrone, Gaetana – Crisis Italian Style: Signs of Loss, Signs of Hope in
Rosi’s ‘Diario napoletano’.
St. Ours, Kathryn – The Sacred and the scatological, From Pasolini to Ciprì and Maresco
Winkler, Daniel – Glocalizing Italian Cinema: Vincenzo Marra & Roberta Torre

10b. Investigating the other: Italian Migration Cinema (H403) (Chair: tbc)
Maraschin, Donatella – Il cinema del metissage in Italia
Molinterno, Gino – Dancing for Identity in Andrea Barzini’s Passo a due (2005)
Schrader, Sabine – La fine dei sogni bucolici ovvero “Dicono che vengono gli albanesi”: E l’aura fai son vir (2005)
1.00-2.00 lunch (graduate space)

2.00- 2.30 Plenary session
11. Prof. Small, Pauline – The new Italian film history (H545) (Chair: tbc)

2.30-4.00/5.00 12. Closing panel discussion (grad space)
with Dr. Guido Bonsaver, Dr. Alan O’Leary, Dr. Catherine O’Rawe & Dr. Fabio Vighi (H545)  (Chair: tbc)

Please note: this programme is likely to undergo some changes before the final version is published, in January 2010.

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Call For Papers/Panels

July 21, 2009 at 7:25 pm (Conference Information)

Titles and abstracts (maximum of 300 words) for proposed papers (20 minutes in length) should be sent in either English or Italian to one of the conference organizers, Dominic Holdaway (D.F.G.Holdaway@warwick.ac.uk), or Mariarita Martino (Mariarita.Martino@warwick.ac.uk). We are also welcoming suggestions for panels (90 minutes in length), both topics and contributors. The deadline for abstracts is 30th August 2009.

Any further enquiries should be addressed to one of the conference organizers, otherwise please leave a comment below.

We look forward to reading your abstracts!

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Da ‘Sodoma’ a ‘Gomorra’: Framing Crisis and Rebirth in Italian Cinema

July 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm (Conference Information)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Prof. Peter Bondanella & Prof. Gian Piero Brunetta.

Confirmed Roundtable Panel: Dr. Guido Bonsaver, Dr. Robert Gordon, Dr. Alan O’Leary & Dr. Catherine O’Rawe.

22nd-24th January 2010, at the University of Warwick

From the 1970s, when Pier Paolo Pasolini shocked the world with his scandalous Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma, Italian cinema has been tagged by labels of crisis and a deadlocked stasis, yet contrastingly apotheosized through public recognition and allusions to rebirth. Never has this been more evident than in the last decade when simultaneously with polemical debates in the Italian press which have described the national cinema as suffering from a ‘crisi d’identità’ (E. G. della Loggia, 2007), films like Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra have triggered hope in the form of ‘il riscatto italiano’ (N. Aspesi, 2008).

In an attempt to bring synthesis to this polarizing tendency, a wavering image of the national cinema has emerged, marked by what Nanni Moretti refers to as ‘il vizio di stabilire, due o tre volte all’anno, lo stato di salute del cinema.’ Scholars have responded to the need to re-evaluate the role of Italian cinema from an international perspective through collaboratively re-envisioning methodological approaches and proposing a ‘more robust theoretical debate’ (C. O’Rawe and A. O’Leary, 2008). To mark the emergence of this focus of academic enquiry, the Department of Italian at the University of Warwick will host a conference which aims to contextualize and interrogate the notion of crisis and rebirth of contemporary Italian cinema.

The conference seeks to address the following key questions:

  • In what ways has the Italian socio-historical context informed the trends of national cinema over the last forty years?
  • To what extent can the crisis of Italian cinema be investigated in terms of mutating ideologies?
  • How has the engagement with and the identification of the spectator changed over the last four decades?
  • After auteurs such as Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci, and Pasolini, has Italian cinema exhausted the stylistic possibilities of a ‘linguaggio del cinema’?
  • With digital filmmaking constantly gaining popularity, how has recent cinema engaged with new technologies, and what is the scope for new generation of filmmakers to emerge?

Suggested areas of interest may include but are not limited to:

  • Film aesthetics and film style
  • Film theory and methodologies
  • Spectatorship and audience
  • Authors/auteurs; cinema as intellectual practice
  • National cinematic ‘canons’
  • Popular cinema
  • Academic and non-academic perspectives
  • Gender and/or genre
  • Adaptation and novelization
  • Political commitment and impegno
  • Realism(s) in cinema
  • Migration and cinema at/of the borders
  • Pan-European and transnational contexts

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