Workshop: A New Italian Political Cinema?
Conference: Contemporary Italy on Screen

Adelaide, South Australia, 29-30 April 2011

Conference Information

A New Italian Political Cinema: a project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK

Workshop details

Conference details

Conference dinner

(coming soon)





Flinders University Campus Map








A New Italian Political Cinema? is a project supported by the
UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Research Networking Scheme.
More information ...

Workshop and Conference co-ordinator: Luciana d'Arcangeli, Flinders University.

In new millennium Italian cinema, political and socio-economic realities underpin many films. The phenomenon of workplace fatalities has been depicted in Mimmo Calopresti's La fabbrica dei tedeschi (2008) and the marginalisation of trade unions and exploitation of workers in Paolo Virzì’s Tutta la vita davanti (2008). Italian state brutality during the G8 protests in Genoa forms the basis of Francesca Comencini's documentary Carlo Giuliani, ragazzo (2002). The role of political corruption and organised crime in causing environmental disasters has been explored in Matteo Garrone's Gomorra (2008). The vulnerability of immigrants in Italy has been highlighted in films such as Marco Tullio Giordana's Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti (2005) and Giuseppe Tornatore's La sconosciuta (2006). Marco Bellocchio's Buongiorno notte (2003) and Guido Chiesa's Lavorare con lentezza (2004) are indicative of a cinematic tendency to revisit Italy's troubled political past. At a macro level, the corrupt, repressive nature of Silvio Berlusconi's administrations has been analysed in Nanni Moretti's Il caimano (2006). Italian cinema has also vividly represented the global effects of capitalism in films such as Gianni Amelio's La stella che non c'è (2006).

Media distortions and untruths have influenced public perceptions of Italy's socio-economic realities, creating a contradiction with the stark representations of the country's problems sometimes found in contemporary Italian cinema. However, many film directors are also culpable of sidelining the sources of macro-level social conflict initially highlighted in films, with storylines often narrowing towards personalised solutions for individual characters and towards structured, genre-specific denouements. This leaves them susceptible to the accusation that certain forms of art continue to use symbolic, personalised solutions to smooth over profound social antagonisms.

The workshop A New Italian Political Cinema?, and subsequent conference, Contemporary Italy on Screen will examine the nature of the politicisation of contemporary Italian cinema, with a view to establishing patterns within filmic representations of socio-economic and political issues in Italy, and identifying the factors affecting the attempts of film-makers to explore societal problems in their work. The timeframe covered by the project is the early 1990s to the present day, with a particular emphasis on new millennium films.

A New Italian Political Cinema? Workshop: Friday, 29 April 2011.

Venue: Conference Room, Function Centre, Humanities Road, Flinders University.

The format of the workshop will centre on brief, informal presentations of approximately ten minutes, followed by discussion and debate. Individuals interested in delivering a presentation at the workshop should send a short abstract to the workshop co-ordinator, Luciana d’Arcangeli.

The required format of the abstract can be found in the "Workshop Participation" section of the A New Italian Cinema? blog. There is a notional deadline of 31 January 2011 for the submission of abstracts, but the number of workshop presentations will be limited, and places will - subject to approval of abstracts - be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Therefore interested parties are advised to submit their abstracts as soon as possible. Indicative topics for discussion in workshop presentations can also be found at the project's blog.

Transport from the city to the Flinders campus

Buses leave every 15 minutes from the city to Flinders University. Bus no. G10 leaves the city from bus stop A2 in King William Street or stop C2 near the corner of Rundle Mall and King William Street. The journey to Flinders University takes approximately 30 minutes. No. G10 bus leaves Flinders University every 15 minutes until 6.50 pm, and every half hour after that. Further information is available from the Adelaide Metro website.

Contemporary Italy on Screen Conference: Saturday, 30 April 2011.

Venue: Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building (corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue, Adelaide).

The format of the conference will centre on longer papers (approximately 20 minutes) by academics and political activists. Significant Italian films and key socio-political developments from the past fifteen years will be analysed in the course of these papers. Details of the programme will appear on this site when they become available.


The conference will be followed by a dinner at Culshaw's Grill at the Majestic Rooftop Garden Hotel, Adelaide, beginning with drinks on the rooftop garden at 7.00 pm; dinner will commence at 7.30pm. The cost of the dinner ($55.00, excluding drinks) can be paid via the conference registration form. Please also use the registration form to indicate any food allergies or dietary needs.


Attendance at the workshop on 29 April 2011 is free; general attendance at the workshop in an observational capacity is open to members of the public who have an interest in Italian cinema. Interested parties should complete the registration form.

Attendance at the Contemporary Italy on Screen conference on 30 April 2011 will cost a nominal fee of AUD$100.00 (student concession, AUD$50.00). To register your attendence, please complete the registration form.

The conference dinner will cost $55.00, and can be paid via the registration form.


A limited number of rooms at the Majestic Roof Garden Hotel (55 Frome Street, Adelaide) have been reserved for conference and workshop participants at the special rate of $120.00 per night (room only). See this flyer for further details, and quote "A New Italian Political Cinema conference" to receive the special rate.

Apartment style accommodation is available at Franklin Central Apartments.

Budget accommodation is available at Backpack Oz, Wakefield Street.

Important information

A New Italian Political Cinema? is a project supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council's Research Networking Scheme. The initial phase of the project will focus on the organisation of events to be held in London 27 November 2010), Adelaide (29-30 April 2011), and Cremona, Italy (9 July 2011), and on the construction of a dedicated website – online from November 2010 – to house workshop presentations and other material. The second phase of the project will feature a conference in Manchester, UK (January 2012), and the publication of volumes of working papers, a collection of essays, and a monograph. Participation at one of the A New Italian Political Cinema? events, either in London, Adelaide, or Cremona, is considered a prerequisite for involvement in the project's subsequent stages. Workshop places are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Workshops will be chaired by several facilitators whose participation is in the process of being finalised.

Participants attending the Australian leg of A New Italian Political Cinema? who wish to be involved in the project's subsequent phases and its publications are strongly advised to attend both the Adelaide workshop and conference. Both events will refine the theoretical orientation of the project, and research collaborations between participants are likely to develop over the two days. Some limited financial assistance for travel expenses will be available to postgraduates, the unemployed, and to those facing financial hardship. Please contact the conference convenor Luciana d'Arcangeli with your specific request for financial assistance. Priority will be given to participants who have workshop presentation proposals approved.

The Adelaide Workshop and Conference are proudly supported by the Flinders Humanities Research Centre.