The Hands of Bresson

Sundry observations on the art of cinema and world film culture

Videocracy: Interview with Erik Gandini

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Television has been blamed for the dumbing down of the American public since the ascendance of the boob tube in the 1950s. But in Italy, where scandal-plagued prime minister Silvio Berlusconi controls the flow of information through his monopolistic holdings in that nation’s biggest media conglomerates, there is a more insidious aspect to the chronic press muzzling at RAI and trashy tits-and-ass programming that predominate on his Mediaset channels. If you want to get a sense of how the billionaire entrepreneur’s televisual imagination has transformed the political and mass-media landscape in Italy, Erik Gandini’s cunningly choreographed documentary Videocracy provides plenty of food for thought, taking a gimlet-eyed view of the Berlusconi phenomenon. But instead of stampeding into this tangle of cultural conflict with rhetorical guns a-blazing, Gandini, an Italian-born filmmaker based in Sweden (Gitmo: The New Rules of War), adopts a far subtler, more intriguingly first-person approach.

Click here to read the rest of my interview at Filmmaker.

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Written by eyemaster

February 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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