Category Archives: The Arts

Movies, books, music: my soul food not to fall into oblivion.

My movies 2019, part 1: reviews, thoughts, impressions, links, suggestions from a movie lover (English and Italian)

l It’s ridiculous and indulgent at all times … Yet there is a weird and heavy backwash of sadness at the end, a kind of melancholy comedown, and I can’t quite decide if that was intentional or not (The Guardian, Richard Curtis’ magical mystery tour of a world without the Beatles). For my generation, in the wasteland…

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JOKER: pretty villain with a tender heart – My movies 2019


Reviews, thoughts, impressions, links, suggestions from a movie lover (English and Italian) Even if the story is well-known – the good-hearted loser revenging the cruelty of a merciless society – J. Phoenix performance gives the character a decaying romantic touch that makes the movie: Reduced to a skeletal state … by a diet of nicotine and pain,…

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My movies 2018 – Hostiles: if you like classic Westerns, love and hate J. Wayne in The Searchers, don’t miss it


If you like classic Westerns, love and hate John Wayne in The Searchers, consider The last of the Mohicans a milestone of mythic American literature, don’t miss Hostiles. It is a quintessential Western movie, full of violence and hate, of understanding and hidden love, of fear and racial hatred, of courage and ethnic mixture, an…

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Review – ‘1984’ adaptation for the Italian stage: not a play about the past, but about us, now


Emilia Romagna Teatro has produced this stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four). The play is directed by Matthew Lenton, Artistic Director of Vanishing Point, a multi-award winning theatre company based in Glasgow, Scotland. The play is performed in Italian by young talented actors. As we all know, Italian politics and Big…

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My movies 2018: reviews, thoughts, impressions, links, suggestions from a movie lover (English and Italian)


A personal passionate collection of movies worth remembering. Una collezione personale e appassionata di film che vale la pena ricordare.   Il cinema sotto le stelle   SACCO E VANZETTI (Italia-Francia/1971) di Giuliano Montaldo (125′)      Introduce il regista Giuliano Montaldo Rivisto oggi, restaurato e introdotto dalle parole del vecchio regista, il film impressiona. Non…

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Mafia Republic, a true crime book by J. Dickie – review


Mafia Republic: Italy’s Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, ‘ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present by John Dickie My rating: 5 of 5 stars … a wise traveller should bring this book with him on an Italian holiday and read it while tanning on a gorgeous Sicilian beach. As I was researching for my book…

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Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (1958): Trump, Berlusconi and Brexit were already scaringly there

Aldous Huxley

The essay Brave New World Revisited is an astonishing prediction of the XXI century’s shrinking democracy in the West. Here is an annotated long extract I edited as part of my research work for Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy. In times of Brexit, Trumpism, abandon of social commitment and triumph of ignorance, I think it is worth re-reading…

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29 Settembre: happy birthday to Modena ‘beat’ music capital


When the folk revival and then the rock revolution of the 60s arrived in Italy, it landed in Modena. Amid Ferrari and Maserati cars, balsamic vinegar producers, tortellini restaurants and small industrial enterprises scattered around the province, ‘beat’ music started to bloom almost unexpectedly in that ‘little town, bastard place’, as Francesco Guccini, one of…

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My top ten non-fiction books about today’s Italy (in English) – and a modest picture of the country


My top ten books are a virtual guided tour that wants to take you to the heart and the soul of what may seem like the most European of countries. It’s a voyage, sometimes dark and sometimes funny, throughout “Good Italy” and “Bad Italy”, an attempt to let the reader scratch at the reassuring surface…

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