After Fellini; National Cinema in the Postmodern Age

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Over the past twenty-five years, Italy’s film industry has produced a remarkable number of award-winning international art-house hits, among them Cinema Paradiso and Life Is Beautiful. Despite these successes, Italian cinema is in a state of crisis: ticket sales for domestic films, which plummeted in the l980’s, are only now beginning to recover; television deregulation has engendered a popular culture largely dependent on American programming; and the passing of an entire generation of brilliant auteurs—Rossellini, Viscounti, Pasolini, Antonioni, and Fellini—extinguished the revolutionary impulse which had characterized Italian filmmaking since the Second World War.

In After Fellini, Millicent Marcus contends that in the late 1980s and 1990s, a new wave of Italian filmmakers has transcended these obstacles and reasserted Italy’s importance in world cinema. Through in-depth critiques of such acclaimed films as The Last Emperor, Caro Diario, and Stolen Children, as well as the immensely popular Cinema Paradiso and Life Is Beautiful, Marcus details how today’s auteurs have both reflected and resisted Italy’s shifting social, political, and cultural identity, and created a body of work that signals a new beginning for Italian cinema.

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