Porton, Ellickson and Nanni Moretti.pdf

To devouring pastry and expressing his irascibil ity

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to devouring pastry and expressing his irascibil- ity by barking frenzied comic remarks to characters who inspired his wrath. In addition, Ecce Bombo gave Moretti an opportunity to express his distaste for an earlier, more flamboyant Italian comic tradition, since his alter ego views the venerable comic actor Alberto Sordi as the embodiment of middle class complacency. Although this view of Sordi was in many respects unfair - Sordi' s ebullient brand of commedia all'italiana was often quite politically acute as well as indisputably hilarious - this ad hominem attack on an Ital- ian icon gave the novice director a chance to symbolically slay a comic patriarch and clear the ground for the more ascetic and morally ambiguous satire of a younger generation. In fact, films such as Bianca (1983) and La messa é finita (The Mass is Over, 1985) were almost devoid of what is traditionally known as comedy. These austerely ironic tales that featured, respectively, a punctilious, and eventually, homicidal mathematics teacher and an angst-rid- den priest who finds himself increasingly alienated from his less reli- gious cohorts, held a fun house mirror up to an Italy that was rapidly embracing consumerism and rejecting the values embraced by the generation that had survived fascism and economic hardship. Several films Moretti directed in the Eighties toyed subtly with autobiographical elements, although the personal allusions in films like Sogni d'oro (Golden Dreams, 1981) and Palombella Rossa are eventually overwhelmed bymultilayered fictional invention. Golden Dreams gave Moretti ample opportunities to lampoon his own style of filmmaking. The gangly comic actor plays a director who resembles the protagonist of a poor man's 8m: an ineffectual cinéaste who is shooting an incongruous bio-pic based on the life of Freud's mother. Palombella Rossa, on the other hand, is Moretti' s most extended attempt to examine the validity of his own deeply felt political convictions. Unlike certain young Italianradicals who came of age during the late Sixties and Seventies, he did not embrace the " ultra-left," but remained loyal to mainstream Euro- communism. By 1989,however, even many diehard militants viewed an increasingly vacillating Communist Party with jaundiced detachment, and Palombella Rossa employs absurdist humor as an analytical tool to dissect the Party's internecine struggles. The film's central comic premise features Moretti' s befuddled impersonation of an amateur water polo player and Communist activist who suffers from amnesia as the result of an automobile accident. A crucial water-polo match becomes the stage for Moretti's fraternal critique of the Italian Communists' historical amnesia. The tragicomic antics of activists who are struggling to contend with the imminent end of the Cold War are ironically juxtaposed with excerpts from David Lean's adaptation of Doctor Zhivago, a film that reduces a more cataclysmic revolutionary crisis to Hollywood kitsch. The decomposition and eventual realignment of Communist ideology, presciently intimated inPalombella Rossa, is concretely explored in Moretti's 1990 documentary, La Cosa.
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  • Fall '16
  • Deeman
  • JSTOR Terms, Moretti, Cineaste, Caro Diario, Nanni Moretti, PalombellaRossa Moretti

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