Racconti dalle periferie d’Italia. Il ritorno al cinema della Suburra = Tales from the Italian suburbs. The return of the Suburra to the cinema


Abstract


Tales from the Italian suburbs. The return of the Suburra to cinema. Prompted by thoughts and cues read in Stefano Cristante and Valentina Cremonesini’s research La parte cattiva dell’Italia (2015) this paper aims to delve into the study of the media representation of specific Italian places through a comparative analysis of the national audiovisual imaginary. Given the deep connection between cinema and metropolitan scenarios (Abruzzese 2017; Brancato 2003), the setting is the key-concept to use in the selection of the movies and tv series with fictional narratives linked to the main metropolitan realities of our country: Milan, Rome, Naples and Palermo. Defining the setting in the iconic and hyperbolic terms of the suburbs, emerged in a first scan as having already been depicted as an element of growing importance in audiovisual Italian productions explicitly in relation with the territory, is the focus of this research. A definition required in order to compare different images of the Modern Cities (Benjamin 2007) of Italy and the possible stereotypes they could contain, with the objective to cross the dimension of landscapes at the borders of metropolitan areas with that of narrative genres. The distinction between drama and comedy of the sample of films and tv series set in the suburbs, produced and released in a time-frame that goes from the 1990s to nowadays, identifies a first level of breakdown of the elements contained in the audiovisual texts which, preluding to the necessity of a qualitative interrogation of them, mirrors the data of an increasing presence of the suburbs in the audiovisual imaginary of our country as much as the emergence of important quantitative and qualitative differences strictly correlated to the Italian place represented. More than the cinematographic and tv representation of Gomorrah the storytelling of the Roman suburbs is gaining in stature, seemingly committed to the restoration of its historical-cinematographical roots, in the face of a much more feeble and sporadic representation of the respective poles in Northern Italy and the insular reality of Sicily.

Keywords: Suburbs; Italy; Imaginary; Cinema; TV Series

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