New Neapolitan Cinema

New Neapolitan Cinema

Alex Marlow-Mann
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1r1x9g
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  • Book Info
    New Neapolitan Cinema
    Book Description:

    The New Neapolitan Cinema provides close analysis of the whole of this movement, which stands as one of the most vital and stimulating currents in contemporary European Cinema.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-7944-7
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. viii-ix)
  5. GLOSSARY
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-13)

    In the early 1990s three Neapolitans made their directorial debut in quick succession. Antonio Capuano’s Vito e gli altri (1991), a highly stylised account of a street-kid’s initiation into a life of crime, was closely followed by Mario Martone’s Morte di un matematico napoletano (1992), an account of the last seven days in the life of Neapolitan mathematician Renato Caccioppoli, and Pappi Corsicato’s Libera (1993), a comic anthology revolving around issues of gender and sexuality. All three films were independently produced, were set in Naples and differed greatly in both subject matter and style from the Neapolitan films of previous...

  7. 1. NEAPOLITAN CINEMA AND THE ITALIAN FILM INDUSTRY
    (pp. 14-40)

    Films are not merely works of art or cultural artefacts, but commercial commodities produced within an industrial system ruled by Government legislation, financial constraints and market forces. Institutional and industrial factors dictate what kinds of film are made and what kinds of film are seen, so before we can begin to analyse Neapolitan films in stylistic or thematic terms, it is necessary to examine their place within the Italian film industry. This chapter has three basic aims. Firstly, it will contextualise the NNC within the broader history of Neapolitan production and examine some of the factors that have favoured filmmaking...

  8. 2. CHARACTERISTICS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE NEAPOLITAN FORMULA
    (pp. 41-70)

    Traditionally, Neapolitan cinema has been identified primarily with two genres: comedy and melodrama. Neapolitan comedy derives from a rich stage tradition and is exemplified by the work of playwright-actors like Eduardo and Peppino De Filippo and of comics originating in theatrical revues and cabaret like Totò and Massimo Troisi. These figures occupy a position of great significance within Neapolitan culture and have become virtual synecdoches for the city, their photos appended to pizzerie around the world. However, most of their films cannot really be considered examples of regional cinema; while they play Neapolitan characters and construct jokes based on ‘Neapolitanness’,...

  9. 3. ESTRANEI ALLA MASSA: THE NEW NEAPOLITAN CINEMA AND THE CRISIS OF NAPOLETANITÀ
    (pp. 71-113)

    Estranei alla massa (literally ‘outside the crowd’ or ‘beyond the masses’) is the title of an interesting documentary directed by Vincenzo Marra in 2001, which depicts the everyday lives of seven members of the eponymous football supporters’ club and then follows them to a match in Treviso where the Neapolitan team is humiliatingly defeated. Although the club’s name is intended to denote a proud independence, which as we have seen is also characteristic of the NF, it also connotes separation and isolation, rather than the sense of belonging typical of fan clubs. The documentary and its title are thus emblematic...

  10. 4. GOLD AND DUST: HYBRIDITY, POSTMODERNISM AND THE LEGACY OF NEAPOLITAN NARRATIVE
    (pp. 114-158)

    The films discussed in Chapter 3 invoked the themes and motifs of traditional Neapolitan culture only implicitly, and in practice their rejection of the underlying assumptions on which these were founded was complete and unequivocal. Conversely, Antonio Capuano’s Polvere di Napoli [The Dust of Naples] (1998) explicitly invites interpretation in relation to one of the key representations of Naples – Giuseppe Marotta’s collection of stories, L’oro di Napoli/The Gold of Naples and Vittorio De Sica’s 1954 film adaptation of the same name. Indeed, the opening caption deliberately enters into dialogue with De Sica’s uncritical celebration of napoletanità: ‘That which you...

  11. 5. SYMBOLIC POLITICS: THE NEAPOLITAN RENAISSANCE AND THE POLITICS OF THE NEW NEAPOLITAN CINEMA
    (pp. 159-188)

    Following the crisis of the Italian party system precipitated by the tangentopoli scandals of the late 1980s, proposals were made for electoral reforms to move away from a party system based on proportional representation towards a majoritarian, presidential system. Although not followed through at a national level, these proposals were applied to the election of city mayors in 1993 and then regional presidents in 1999. In Naples the 1993 elections saw a closely fought battle between Antonio Bassolino of the left-wing Partito Democratico della Sinistra (PdS) and Alessandra Mussolini of the right-wing Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), from which Bassolino emerged...

  12. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 189-200)

    In the introduction I suggested that the NF, with its fixed narrative conventions and stereotypical use of readily identifiable locations, was largely responsible for the creation of the idea of a ‘Neapolitan cinema’ within popular consciousness. Subsequent chapters have explored how in recent years Neapolitan films have drawn on this tradition but also challenged and reconfigured its conventions. In order to understand better the reasons behind this change, it is useful to review briefly the notion of genre and generic evolution. In Questions of Genre, Steve Neale observes that:

    Genres do not consist only of films: they consist also, and...

  13. APPENDICES
    (pp. 201-216)
  14. FILMOGRAPHY
    (pp. 217-220)
  15. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 221-229)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 230-242)