'Da fatti realmente accaduti': Performing History in Contemporary Italian Cinema

Dom Holdaway

Abstract


This essay considers the claims to historical or social truths made by four contemporary Italian films: The One Hundred Steps (Marco Tullio Giordana, 2000), Romanzo Criminale (Michele Placido, 2005), Il divo (Paolo Sorrentino, 2008) and Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone, 2008). Posing them first as historical texts, it then identifies two techniques of engaging with or rejecting a claim to historical accuracy, based on notions of performativity and of historiographic metafiction. By locating these models in a period of postmodernity, it seeks ultimately to offer some insight into contemporary Italian cinema more widely, in particular on the constant recourse made to realism.


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New Readings — ISSN: 13597485

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Published by: Cardiff School of Modern Languages