We had a Bavafest reprise this week when Jim and I got to talk about The Evil Eye/The Girl Who Knew Too Much with Antonio Vantaggiato’s class on Cine y Cultura Italiana. I’m sure Jim will blog that better than I can. But he had an interesting proposition:
I think I only know about poliziotteschi because Jim has blogged about it. I watched a few Di Leo films, but I really know very little to nothing about the genre. All the more reason to do it. I like crime and cop movies, particularly where cops are criminals and corruption is involved, so this is entirely up my alley.
One challenge is finding films, especially with interlibrary loan being shutdown for the lockdown. I found a Youtube playlist of Euro Crime & Poliziotteschi which should help, and those films will probably lead to more. The Wikipedia page lists a number of films, so many that I suspect they may not have been selected with discretion. What is considered seminal and canonical, and what is considered schlock? I found another page, Poliziotteschi: Italian Crime Cinema, from The Grindhouse Cinema Database, which sounds like something I should take as authoritative. I was able to find a few of those films online, including these in English:
- The Big Racket
- Confessions of a Police Captain
- Street Law
- Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man
- La Mala Ordina
- Mr. Scarface
So that gives a starting point for films.
I also found a few books:
Google Books only gives a limited preview, so they may not be too helpful, but I should be able to glean some background. I’m particularly interested in the point quoted on the Grindhouse page
According to Bondarella, the “classic” poliziotteschi film reveals “almost universal suspicion of the very social institutions charged with protecting Italian society from criminal violence.”
because we have similar, and perhaps not unfounded, suspicions today.
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