Tag Archives: China

Italian Cinema: special issue of FULGOR

7fbb78_783f57d50c2240d4b0f23be547a41fbeA special issue on Italian cinema (vol. 5, issue 1, April 2016) has just been published by FULGOR, the Flinders University Languages Group Online Review. The issue, guest-edited by Luciana d’Arcangeli with support from Laura Lori and Stefano Bona, covers a wide range of topics: trends in contemporary Italian cinema (Vito Zagarrio), including the treatment of gender and socio-sexual identity (Luciana d’Arcangeli); the presence of Italians in the early history of the Australian film industry (Gino Moliterno); a comparison of the texts and sub-texts of the films made by Italian directors in China between 1957 and 2012 (Stefano Bona); an analysis of the encounters between migrant Italians and indigenous Australians in Diego Cienetiempo’s Far Away is Home. La Storia di Clely (2012) (Matteo Dutto); and an interpretation of Costanza Quatriglio’s film of Vincenzo Rabito’s autobiography Terra matta (David Moss). FULGOR is a peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. Back issues can be found here.

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Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue

cropped-castiglione-2-e1459125233800The Dept of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto is holding an international conference, Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue, on 7-9 April 2016.  Exchanges between Italy and China have produced the most sustained long-term strand of cultural texts on East-West borrowings. The works of Marco Polo, Li Madou (Matteo Ricci), Giacomo Puccini, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Bernardo Bertolucci are among history’s most influential intercultural texts. In recent years Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography in Gianni Amelio’s La stella che non c’è/The Missing Star (2006) and in Andrea Segre’s Io sono Li/Shun Li and the Poet (2012) shows the influence of Chinese landscape painting. Chinese perceptions of Italy have been equally textured and powerful. Liang Qichao formulated his influential nationalist thinking with explicit reference to Italian Unification. The ‘Sixth Generation’ Chinese filmmakers made extensive use of Italian neorealism for their Chinese subject matter. The conference will pool contemporary research on China-Italy issues, examine the relations in comparative, cross-disciplinary and long-term perspectives, and establish a research agenda for a collaborative network of scholars. Full details of the conference and programme can be found on its webpage.

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CFP: Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue

People's_Republic_of_China_Italy_LocatorIncreasing dialogue between China and Italy (as between East Asia and Europe) constitutes a significant issue in today’s world.  The Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto is organising a conference, Italy and China, Europe and East Asia: Centuries of Dialogue, April 7-9, 2016, to explore historical and contemporary features of the relationship. The conference will pool current research on China-Italy issues, create a network for collaboration based at the University of Toronto and set an agenda for future research. Further details can be found here. Scholars from both the humanities and social sciences are welcome to participate; selected papers from the conference will be published. Proposals (200 words plus brief author bio) for papers should be submitted to both conference organisers, Francesco Guardiani and Gaoheng Zhang, by November 30, 2015.


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New issue of the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies

20477368The theme of the most recent issue (March 2014, 2.1) of the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies is Italy-China. Elena Pollacchi explores the influence of the Italian neo-realist tradition on contemporary Chinese film directors while Thomas Chen uses the dubbing into Mandarin Chinese of a classic example of the genre, Bicycle Thieves, to stimulate discussion on the role of dubbed films as translations. Two contributions focus on Michelangelo Antonioni’s Chung Kuo/China (1972). Xin Liu examines the Chinese reception to the film – banned between 1974 and 2004 even though it had been commissioned by the Chinese government. Stefano Bona compares its representation of China to the portrayal of the country by Gianni Amelio in his La stella che non c’è/The Missing Star, made 30 years later. And for those who shiver expectantly when someone whispers ‘There’s a stranger in town’, Ivo Ritzer looks at representations of ‘Asianness’ in the Italian Western.

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ACIS Cassamarca scholarship awards for 2014

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ACIS congratulates Stefano Bona (Flinders University) and Esther Theiler (La Trobe University) on the award of ACIS Cassamarca scholarships for research in Italy in 2014. Stefano’s PhD research topic is the representation of China in Italian film since 1949 and its cultural, economic and ideological implications. Esther’s work, also for a PhD, concerns the analysis of portrait painting in Italy in the 17th century, using paleographic and linguistic skills to interpret archival materials. The competition for the awards was particularly strong this year, and the ACIS Scholarships Committee wishes to put on record the very high quality of all the applications and its regret that it could make only two awards.

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Emotional geographies of Italian transnational spaces

Francesco Ricatti   University of the Sunshine Coast

CSR 19(2)The new issue of Cultural Studies Review (volume 19 issue 2) includes a section I have co-edited with Maurizio Marinelli on Emotional geographies of the uncanny: reinterpreting Italian transnational spaces. Our aim was to read transnational spaces constructed and inhabited by Italian migrants and settlers to Australasia as emotional spaces of uncanny perceptions, memories, narratives and identities. Drawing inspiration from the Freudian suggestions about the uncanny (das unheimliche), and later interpretations by Heiddeger, Derrida, Kristeva, Bhabha, Žižek, and Ahmed, we refer to the uncanny as the emotional reaction to something that is, at the same time, familiar and unfamiliar, homely and unhomely. The uncanny then becomes an aesthetic frame through which experiences of migration and colonialism can be read and interpreted. Continue reading

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How do Italian film-makers see China?

Stefano Bona   Flinders University

Portrait of Marco Polo

16th century portrait of Marco Polo (1254 – 1324)

China has rapidly become the world’s second largest economy, and most of the clothes and shoes we wear, the mobile phones and computers we use, the bicycles we ride today are made there. However China’s cultures and peoples are still largely unknown or misunderstood in Western societies. Italy may be seen as a symbol both of the positive relations of China with the West (an embassy sent by Rome reached China as early as 166 AD, and the legacy of Marco Polo and Matteo Ricci is still thought highly of by the Chinese) and of the misunderstandings which have occurred in the relations between these cultures. Hence the way Italy and Italians identify China, its people and its culture, might be seen as a “litmus test” of their perception by Western countries.

If we add two further considerations, that film makers are intellectuals who interpret the feelings of society, and that, as David Bordwell argues, films are created to have an impact on audiences and speak to their imaginative needs, it then becomes particularly interesting to analyse how China has been represented by Italian directors who have shot films there since 1949 (the year the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed).

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