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Paolo Sorrentino’s Cinema and Television

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The Naples-born director and screenwriter Paolo Sorrentino has, to date, written and directed nine films, winning an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe for The Great Beauty in 2013.  In 2016, he created and directed his first TV series, The Young Pope, which starred Jude Law. John Malkovich joined the cast in 2020 for the follow-up series. He has established himself as a world-leading auteur with a list of critically acclaimed and award-winning films.

This is an invaluable contribution to the existing literature on Sorrentino and is the first English language collection dedicated to this prolific director, who has emerged as one of the most compelling figures in twenty-first-century European film.

International contributors from the UK, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Canada and the United States, Italy, Israel, France, UK, Australia, Canada, offer original interpretations of Sorrentino’s work.   They examine his recurrent grand themes of memory, nostalgia, ageing, love, thirst for fulfilment, search for the self, identity crisis, human estrangement, marginality, irony and power. In so doing, they offer new perspectives and unique cues for discussion, challenging established assumptions and interpretations.  Important and current themes such as eco-cinema and post-secularism are addressed as well as the links between Sorrentino’s highly visual cinema and artistic practice such as painting and architecture. 

While there are several books on Sorrentino available in Italian, none

of these provide an authoritative account of his work; and language has restricted the readership.  This is the first English-language collection focussed on Sorrentino, arguably the most successful and significant contemporary Italian filmmaker.

The majority of the chapters included in this new book are original and it also includes a Foreword by Giancarlo Lombardi, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at CUNY, and an interview with renowned costume designer Carlo Poggioli, who has worked with Sorrentino on many productions.

Some of the chapters were previously published in a special issue of the journal JICMS – The Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies in 2019.  The new collection makes a significant coherent contribution to the field.   

Primary readership will be academics, researchers and scholars of Italian film and media studies.  Also post-graduate students and upper level under-graduates.

Potential to be used as textbook or as supplementary reading for undergraduate and graduate courses

Given the subject, there is a possibility for some crossover appeal to a broader readership, but this is primarily a scholarly text.

Related Topics: Film Studies

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