Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Rome Journal: The Manchurian Candidate

Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Is there such a thing as a definable culture? Can one generalize about the Romans? Travelers like Goethe came to Italy in search of the past. Popular stereotypes and profiles are often derive from cinema. Alberto Sordi transformed the stereotype of the Roman male from the suave Mastroianni women chaser of La Dolce Vita (1960) and Divorce Italian Style (1961) to an anti-heroic schlepp who ultimately has its roots in the Chaplin of Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940)Sordi is best known for his role Lattuada's Mafioso (1962) which talking about culture was an essay on the poles of North and South. In An Diffiucult Life (1961), Sordi plays a "scrittore Romani" who fails in his attempt to sell the story of his life.Nothing new here you might say. Been there done that. However A Difficult Life is the Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) Rome. It creates a mythos. You have the Greco-Roman Gods and likewise the myths created at Cinecitta. Are any of these filmic masks ie the feckless dreamer, the lady killer or the operatic prostitute played by Anna Magnani in Mamma Roma (1962) personalities one encounters on the street? The answer depends on whether your view of reality is conditioned by art or life.

read the review of The Kafka Studies Department  by Francis Levy in Booklife

and listen to "Boogaloo Down Broadway" by Johnny C

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