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.
KeywordsFamily Business Christmas Tree Good Morning Living Memory Foreign Film
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Suggestions for Further Reading
- Ferrucci, Riccardo and Patrizia Turini (eds) 1995: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani: La poesia del paesaggio. Rome: Gremese Editore.Google Scholar
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