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Boss in sala. Cultural Legitimacy and Italian Mafia Films

digital Boss in sala. Cultural Legitimacy and Italian Mafia Films
Article
journal COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI
issue COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2016 - 3. ITALIAN QUALITY CINEMA Institutions, Taste, Cultural Legitimation
title Boss in sala. Cultural Legitimacy and Italian Mafia Films
author
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 12-2016
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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This article identifies a recent trend of critically acclaimed, accessible mafia narratives, and offers a possible interpretation of the films as belonging to the quality sector. Following a discussion of ‘quality’ in the Italian industry, the article first provides a historic overview of Italian mafia films in order to contextualize the recent shift in tone and form. The second section then offers an analysis of the production, distribution and performance of ten mafia films released between 2004 and 2016 in relation to Mary Wood’s definition of quality filmmaking. By employing a methodology that moves from cultural history to production studies, the article reveals the continued relevance and (often institutional) legitimation of mafia narratives, therefore raising further questions about the specificity of the Italian quality sector, its boundaries, and its problematic relationship with popular film.

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