The sense of place on page and screen

Two current talks emphasise the importance of the specific local setting for the central action in Italian fiction. First, Barbara Pezzotti (Monash) has begun a series of SBS podcasts on the Italian gialli (romanzi criminali) with a piece on gialli in Milan. She discusses the changing role of the city itself, first the centre, then the periphery, as portrayed by authors from Giorgio Scerbanenco (eg Traditori di tutti, 1966) to Rosa Teruzzi (eg La fioraia del Giambellino, 2017). Her forthcoming city-centred analyses will include Turin, Bologna and Rome. Second, Mark Nicholls (Melbourne) concludes his talks on classic Italian films – Roma città aperta (Rossellini, 1945), Ladri di biciclette (De Sica, 1948), La dolce vita (Fellini, 1959), Il conformista (Bertolucci, 1970) and Morte a Venezia (Visconti, 1971) – with a discussion of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore, 1988) on Tuesday 22 Oct 2019, 6.30-8pm. at 199 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC 3053 (free event – RSVP essential here). Tornatore’s depiction of small-town life in Sicily after 1945 is the essential background for understanding the place of cinema-going in the creation of collective memory and (often) nostalgia.

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