Friday, 14 June 2013

Film Comedy and Italian 'Cinema of Migration'

Monica Boria has just delivered a paper on contemporary Italian comedy in a post-national context at the AATI Conference in Strasbourg.

The context for her paper is the  so-called ‘cinema of migration’ in Italy, in which the comedy mode has rarely featured and comedy films have only recently began to emerge. These films were all made in the last decade and have so far received scant attention. In her paper she presented the preliminary results of her investigation of a body of approximately 15 films where the comedy mode and the theme of a multicultural Italy can be considered predominant. Initial analyses shows that, in contrast with the realist films, which tend to offer an intimate and deeper take on the migrant as subject, the comedies revolve mostly around Italian identities, which the juxtaposition with the immigrant ‘other’ makes stand out with ridicule. 

Her methodology brings together the analytical tools typically employed within screen studies, with those offered by humour studies. She also attempts to frame this new production within the wider debate of so-called ‘accented’ cinema and referred to concepts of displacement and deterritorialization. Typical research questions include: how is migration represented through the lenses of humour?  Has the unprecedented context of multicultural Italy affected the mechanisms of the production of humour? Do these comedies offer new or alternative discourses to mainstream realist film? Monica uses several comedies to illustrate hwe findings, but she focuses on two especially poignant and innovative examples: Che bella giornata (2011) by Gennaro Nuziante and Checco Zalone and Into Paradiso (2011) by Paola Randi.

Monica Boria, 'Contemporary Italian Comedy in a Post-national context', AATI Conference, Strasbourg, 30 May - 4 June 2013

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