Andrea Minuz

«Roma cafona». Notes on The Great Beauty, Kitsch and Photography

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Keywords: Photography, Representations of Rome, Mass Tourism, Film Style, Italian Identity

Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (2012) is one of the icons of Italian contemporary cinema and a perfect example of an art film in global culture. An engaging piece of «highbrow cinema» (like La dolce vita) as well as a fascinating meditation on entertainment and mass culture, it has become a key point of reference in debates about decline in Italy. This article explores its influences and relationships with the field of photography and mass tourism, with particular reference to John Urry’s «tourist gaze», the work of Martin Parr and his stereotypical impression of Rome, and Cafonal, a book of photography by Umberto Pizzi, a paparazzo in today’s Rome, which celebrates the ritual of loutish Italy through the lens of contemporary Rome.

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