Advertisement

Good Morning Babilonia

  • Derek Duncan
Chapter

Abstract

The extraordinary commercial and critical success outside Italy of La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful, 1997), Roberto Benigni’s romantic comedy about the Holocaust, marks the culmination of a decade in which Italian cinema has re-established itself on the international scene. Films such as Giuseppe Tornatoré s Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso, 1987) and Gabriele Salvatores’s Mediterraneo (1992) won Oscars for Best Foreign Film, and the established stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni received similar Lifetime Achievement awards. This was not the first time, however, that Italian cinema had attracted world acclaim. Previously the type of Italian films to attract attention abroad had been strictly art-house, yet the films successfully exported since the late 1980s appeal to a broader market. They do not, therefore, represent a continuation of the experimental tradition of Italian cinema best known through the neo-realist cinema of the immediate post-war era, and the work of innovative film-makers such as Antonioni and Fellini in the 1960s and 1970s. Their appeal is more middlebrow, attracting an audience closer to the mainstream. This chapter will look at Good Morning Babilonia (Good Morning Babylon, 1987), an early example of this more recent trend in Italian film-making. Typically, these films are elegantly crafted, slow moving, spectacular epics. Set sometime in the recent past, they recall a lost Italy that nevertheless is in the compass of living memory.

Keywords

Family Business Christmas Tree Good Morning Living Memory Foreign Film 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baranski, Zygmunt G. and Lumley, Robert (eds) 1990: Culture and Conflict in Post-War Italy: Essays on Mass and Popular Culture. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Duggan, Christopher and Wagstaff, Christopher (eds) 1995: Italy in the Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society, 1948–58. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  3. Higson, Andrew 1996: ‘The Heritage Film and British Cinema’. In Andrew Higson (ed.), Dissolving Views: Key Writings on British Cinema. London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  4. Sorlin, Pierre 1996: Italian National Cinema, 1896–1996. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Wagstaff, Christopher 1995: ‘Italy and the Post-War Cinema Market’. In Duggan and Wagstaff 1995: Italy in the Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society, 1948–58. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar

Suggestions for Further Reading

  1. Ferrucci, Riccardo and Patrizia Turini (eds) 1995: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani: La poesia del paesaggio. Rome: Gremese Editore.Google Scholar
  2. Forgâcs, David 1990: Italian Culture in the Industrial Era, 1880–1980: Cultural Industries, Politics and the Public. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Malavolti, Francesca and Katia Ugolini (eds) 1994: L’utopia, la poesia, il silenzio. Il cinema dei fratelli Taviani. Rovigo: Tipografia la grafica.Google Scholar
  4. Sorlin, Pierre 1996: Italian National Cinema, 1896–1996. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Taviani, Paolo 1987: Good Morning Babilonia. London: Faber.Google Scholar
  6. Wagstaff, Christopher 1996: ‘Cinema’. In David Forgâcs and Robert Lumley (eds): Italian Cultural Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 216–32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Derek Duncan 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Duncan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations