The representation of the South is a major subject in Italian cinema. Already central during the Neorealism, it became inescapable once the long-lived questione meridionale (the southern issue) exploded in the cultural discourse after the so-called “economic miracle” (1958-1963). The narratives of the socio-cultural gap between an increasingly industrial North and a still underdeveloped South—populated by corruption and organized crime—led Italian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s to address the subject through a whole range of genres, including documentary, cine-inquiry, melodrama, gangster and the newborn commedia all'italiana. In my paper I illustrate the crucial role of film music in articulating the cultural dichotomies implied in the southern issue (e.g. familiarity/otherness, primitiveness/decadence, superstition/religion, honor/dishonor etc.) with special attention to the category of the grotesque . Drawing on the audio-visual analysis of a representative selection of cues, I argue how prominent composers, such as Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Egisto Macchi, Luis Bacalov and Piero Piccioni, exhibited a relatively codified vocabulary of musical procedures that profoundly emblematized this season of Italian cinema in the international scene and would be influential for ensuing generations of Italian and Italian- American filmmakers. By combining the vernacular stylization of melodic and rhythmic profiles, the insistence on timbres that were (sometimes inappropriately) considered as regional marks (e.g. the Jew’s harp for Sicily), the recourse to operatic devices, and a deft use of sound postproduction, music manages to merge traits of irony, sarcasm, ugliness, comedy, with epical and tragic tones, in a powerful grotesque portrait of the southern, and ultimately overall, Italian character.
Representing the South. The Sound of the 'Grotesque' in the Italian Films of the 1960s and 1970s / M. Corbella. ((Intervento presentato al 8. convegno Music and the Moving Image Annual Conference tenutosi a New York nel 2013.
|Titolo:||Representing the South. The Sound of the 'Grotesque' in the Italian Films of the 1960s and 1970s|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1-giu-2013|
|Parole Chiave:||Italian Cinema ; Film Music ; Italian Identity ; Southern Question ; Questione meridionale|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-ART/07 - Musicologia e Storia della Musica|
Settore L-ART/06 - Cinema, Fotografia e Televisione
Settore L-ART/08 - Etnomusicologia
|Enti collegati al convegno:||New York University|
|Citazione:||Representing the South. The Sound of the 'Grotesque' in the Italian Films of the 1960s and 1970s / M. Corbella. ((Intervento presentato al 8. convegno Music and the Moving Image Annual Conference tenutosi a New York nel 2013.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|