Mafia Movies: A Reader, Second Edition

Edited by Dana Renga

© 2019

The mafia has always fascinated filmmakers and television producers. Al Capone, Salvatore Giuliano, Lucky Luciano, Ciro Di Marzio, Roberto Saviano, Don Vito and Michael Corleone, and Tony Soprano are some of the historical and fictional figures that contribute to the myth of the Italian and Italian-American mafias perpetuated onscreen. This collection looks at mafia movies and television over time and across cultures, from the early classics to the Godfather trilogy and contemporary Italian films and television series. The only comprehensive collection of its type, Mafia Movies treats over fifty films and TV shows created since 1906, while introducing Italian and Italian-American mafia history and culture.

The second edition includes new original essays on essential films and TV shows that have emerged since the publication of the first edition, such as Boardwalk Empire and Mob Wives, as well as a new roundtable section on Italy’s “other” mafias in film and television, written as a collaborative essay by more than ten scholars. The edition also introduces a new section called “Double Takes” that elaborates on some of the most popular mafia films and TV shows (e.g. The Godfather and The Sopranos) organized around themes such as adaptation, gender and politics, urban spaces, and performance and stardom.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 464 pages
  • Illustrations: 28
  • Dimensions: 7.5in x 1.3in x 9.1in
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Quick Overview

Mafia Movies: A Reader provides incisive interpretations of over fifty films and television programs about the Italian and Italian-American Mafias.

Mafia Movies: A Reader, Second Edition

Edited by Dana Renga

© 2019

The mafia has always fascinated filmmakers and television producers. Al Capone, Salvatore Giuliano, Lucky Luciano, Ciro Di Marzio, Roberto Saviano, Don Vito and Michael Corleone, and Tony Soprano are some of the historical and fictional figures that contribute to the myth of the Italian and Italian-American mafias perpetuated onscreen. This collection looks at mafia movies and television over time and across cultures, from the early classics to the Godfather trilogy and contemporary Italian films and television series. The only comprehensive collection of its type, Mafia Movies treats over fifty films and TV shows created since 1906, while introducing Italian and Italian-American mafia history and culture.

The second edition includes new original essays on essential films and TV shows that have emerged since the publication of the first edition, such as Boardwalk Empire and Mob Wives, as well as a new roundtable section on Italy’s “other” mafias in film and television, written as a collaborative essay by more than ten scholars. The edition also introduces a new section called “Double Takes” that elaborates on some of the most popular mafia films and TV shows (e.g. The Godfather and The Sopranos) organized around themes such as adaptation, gender and politics, urban spaces, and performance and stardom.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 464 pages
  • Illustrations: 28
  • Dimensions: 7.5in x 1.3in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    "This book provides compelling insight into the fascination that the world of the mafia holds for both filmmakers and audiences. It is clear that the popular appetite for mafia stories has not dissipated, as these narratives are now being reproduced across different media platforms, reflecting themes utterly pertinent to the global present."
    Aine O'Healy, Loyola Marymount University

    "This new edition blurs any rigid distinction between cinema and television, mapping a growing transmedia arena through its characters, adaptations, and authors, and making space for discussion and for multiple takes on single issues. Mafia Movies is both a fundamental reference and a solid training ground for audiovisual analysis."


    Luca Barra, Università di Bologna

    "This terrific collection of essays is the ultimate reader for those interested in grasping the full complexity of the mafia phenomenon and its many myths."


    Sergio Rigoletto, Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon
  • Author Information

    Dana Renga is an associate professor of Italian at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium (2013) and Watching Sympathetic Perpetrators on Italian Television: Gomorrah and Beyond (2019) and has published extensively on Italian cinema and television.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgments

    Part One. Setting the Scene

    1. The Corleones at Home and Abroad
    Dana Renga, Ohio State University

    2. Gender and Violence: Four Themes in the Everyday World of Mafia Wives
    Jane Schneider, Graduate Center, CUNY (Emeritus) and Peter Schneider, Fordham University(Emeritus)

    Part Two. American Mafia Movies and Television: The Corleones at Home and Abroad

    3. Wallace McCutcheon’s The Black Hand: A Different Version of a Biograph Kidnapping
    Vincenzo Maggitti, University of Stockholm

    4 ‘Most Thrilling Subjects’: D.W. Griffith and the Biograph Revenge Films
    JoAnne Ruvoli, Ball State University

    5. Ethnicity and the Classical Gangster Film: Mervyn LeRoy’s Little Caesar and Howard Hawks’s Scarface
    Norma Bouchard, San Diego State University

    6. Playing Good Italian/Bad Italian on ABC’s The Untouchables
    Jonathan J. Cavallero, Bates College

    7 Prelude to The Godfather: Martin Ritt’s The Brotherhood
    Robert Casillo, University of Miami

    8. Michael Corleone’s Tie: Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather
    Anthony Julian Tamburri, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College/CUNY

    9. Nihilism and Mafiosita in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets
    Pellegrino D’Acierno, Hofstra University

    10. Thematic Patterns in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II
    John Paul Russo, University of Miami

    11. The Sexual Politics of Loyalty in John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor
    Rebecca Bauman, Fashion Institute of Technology

    12. Between Postmodern Parody and Generic Hybridization: The Gangsters of Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables
    Norma Bouchard, San Diego State University

    13. The Bandit, the Gangster, and the American Army Shorts: Michael Cimino’s The Sicilian
    Chiara Mazzucchelli, The University of Central Florida

    14. Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas: Hybrid Storytelling between Realism and Formalism
    Fulvio Orsitto, California State University

    15. Redemption in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part III
    John Paul Russo, University of Miami

    16. Narrating the Mafia, Las Vegas, and Ethnicity in Martin Scorsese’s Casino
    Claudio Bisoni, University of Bologna

    17. ‘Nothing Romantic about It’: Gender and the Legacy of Crime in Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral
    Lara Santoro, Drew University

    18. Inside the Mafia: Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco
    Robert Casillo, University of Miami

    19. Family Therapy: Harold Ramis’s Analyze This and the Evolution of the Gangster Genre
    Louis Bayman, University of Southampton

    20. Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, or the Quest for a Departed (Ethnic) Identity
    Margherita Heyer-Caput, University of California

    21. When Words Can Kill: David Chase’s The Sopranos
    Franco Ricci, The University of Ottawa

    22. ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, Don’t Stop …’: (De)Structuring Expectations in the Final Season of The Sopranos
    Giancarlo Lombardi, College of Staten Island & CUNY Graduate Center

    23. ‘History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, but It Does Rhyme’: Fictionalizing History in Boardwalk Empire
    Paolo Russo, Oxford Brookes University

    24. Mob Wives: Exploitation or Empowerment?
    Jacqueline Reich, Fordham University and Fatima Karin, Fordham University

    Part Three. Italian Mafia Movies and Television: Resistance and Myth

    25. Which Law Is the Father’s? Gender and Generic Oscillation in Pietro Germi’s In the Name of the Law
    Danielle Hipkins, University of Exeter, University of Exeter

    26. The Visible, Unexposed: Francesco Rosi’s Salvatore Giuliano
    Laura Wittman, Stanford University

    27. Modernity, Mafia Style: Alberto Lattuada’s Mafioso
    Nelson Moe, Barnard College, Columbia University

    28. Francesco Rosi’s Hands over the City: A Contemporary Perspective on the Camorra
    Anna Paparcone, Bucknell University

    29. Prototypes of the Mafia: Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard
    Elizabeth Leake, Columbia University

    30. The Failure of the Intellectual: Elio Petri’s Filming of Leonardo Sciascia’s To Each His Own
    Daniela Bini, University of Texas

    31. Damiano Damiani’s The Day of the Owl: A Western Flirtation
    Piero Garofalo, University of New Hampshire

    32. Smaller and Larger Families: Lina Wertmüller’s The Seduction of Mimi
    Thomas Harrison, University of California, Los Angeles

    33. Deconstructing the Enigma: Logical Investigations in Francesco Rosi’s Lucky Luciano
    Gaetana Marrone, Princeton University

    34. Power as Such: The Idea of the Mafia in Francesco Rosi’s Illustrious Corpses
    Alan O’Leary, University of Leeds

    35. Marco Risi’s Forever Mary: Desperate Lives Converge in Sicilia ‘Non Bedda’
    George De Stefano, Author and Critic

    36. Threads of Political Violence in Italy’s Spiderweb: Giorgio Ambrosoli’s Murder in Michele Placido’s A Bourgeois Hero
    Carlo Testa, University of British Columbia

    37. Sacrifice, Sacrament, and the Body in Ricky Tognazzi’s La scorta
    Myriam Swennen Ruthenberg, Florida Atlantic University

    38. Pasquale Scimeca’s Placido Rizzotto: A Different View of Corleone
    Amy Boylan, The University of New Hampshire

    39. Marco Tullio Giordana’s The Hundred Steps: The Biopic as Political Cinema
    George De Stefano, Author and Critic

    40. Roberta Torre’s Angela: The Mafia and the ‘Woman’s Film’
    Catherine O’Rawe, University of Bristol

    41. Organized Crime and Unfulfilled Promises in Gabriele Salvatores’ I’m Not Scared
    Michael O’Riley, Colorado College

    42. Growing Up Camorrista: Antonio and Andrea Frazzi’s Certi bambini
    Allison Cooper, Bowdoin College

    43. Lipstick and Chocolate: Paolo Sorrentino’s The Consequences of Love
    Mary P Wood, Birkbeck, University of London

    44. The In(di)visibility of the Mafia, Politics, and Ethics in Bianchi and Nerazzini’s The Mafia Is White
    Robin Pickering-Iazzi, The University of Wisconsin

    45. Marco Turco’s Excellent Cadavers: An Italian Tragedy
    Maddalena Spazzini, Richmond College

    46. Dispatches from Hell: Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah
    Pierpaolo Antonello, The University of Cambridge

    47. From Comedy to Commemoration: Pierfrancesco Diliberto’s La mafia uccide solo d’estate
    Millicent Marcus, Yale University

    48. Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s Salvo: The Sound of Redemption in an Infernal Landscape
    Amy Boylan, The University of New Hampshire

    49. Of Renegades and Game Players: Shifting Sympathies in Gomorra: la serie
    Giancarlo Lombardi, College of Staten Island & CUNY Graduate Center

    Part Four. Italy’s Other Mafias in Film and on Television: A Roundtable

    50. Introduction – The Banda della Magliana, the Camorra, the ’Ndrangheta, and the Sacra Corona Unita: The Mafia On Screen beyond the Cosa Nostra
    Dana Renga, Ohio State University

    51. Historicizing Italy’s Other Mafias: Some Considerations
    John Dickie, University College London

    52. Romanzo criminale: Roma Caput Violandi
    Allison Cooper, Bowdoin College

    53. Romanzo criminale: la serie
    Catherine O’Rawe, University of Bristol

    54. Toxic Tables: The Representation of Food in Camorra Films
    Amy Boylan, The University of New Hampshire

    55. The New Mafia in Una vita tranquilla
    Giovanna De Luca, College of Charleston

    56. Soap Operas
    Giancarlo Lombardi, College of Staten Island & CUNY Graduate Center

    57. Response #1
    Robert Gordon, The University of Cambridge

    58. Response #2
    Danielle Hipkins, University of Exeter

    59. Response #3
    Robin Pickering-Iazzi, The University of Wisconsin

    60. Conclusion
    Allison Cooper, Bowdoin College

    Part Five. Double Takes

    The Godfather

    61. The Godfather: Performance and Stardom
    Dominic Holdaway, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuor

    62. The Godfather: Adaptation
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    63. The Godfather: Gender
    Dana Renga, Ohio State University

    64. The Godfather: Scene Analysis – Don Vito’s Office
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    65. The Godfather: Scene Analysis – The Baptism/Murder
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    66. The Godfather: Scene Analysis – The Finale
    Daniel Paul, The Ohio State University

    The Sopranos

    67. The Sopranos: Antiheroic Masculinity
    Dana Renga, Ohio State University

    68. The Sopranos: Gender
    Dominic Holdaway, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuor

    69. The Sopranos: (Sub)Urban Space
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    70. The Sopranos: Episode 1.01, ‘The Sopranos’
    Dominic Holdaway, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuor

    71 The Sopranos: Episode 1.05, ‘College’
    Sean O’Sullivan, The Ohio State University

    72. The Sopranos: Episode 2.04, ‘Commendatori’
    Sean O’Sullivan, The Ohio State University

    Romanzo criminale

    73. Romanzo criminale: Performance and Stardom
    Catherine O’Rawe, University of Bristol

    74. Romanzo criminale: Adaptation/Transmedia
    Dominic Holdaway, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuor

    75. Romanzo criminale: Gender
    Danielle Hipkins, University of Exeter

    76. Romanzo criminale: Politics and Terrorism
    Dominic Holdaway, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuor

    77. Romanzo criminale: Scene Analysis – The Aldo Moro Kidnapping
    Catherine O’Rawe, University of Bristol

    78. Romanzo criminale: Scene Analysis – The Bologna Bombing
    Alan O’Leary, University of Leeds

    Gomorrah

    79. Gomorrah: Gender
    Elena Past, Wayne State University

    80. Gomorrah: Metacinematic References
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    81. Gomorrah: Urban Space
    Monica Seger, William and Mary University

    82. Gomorrah: Scene Analysis – Opening Sequence
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    83. Gomorrah: Scene Analysis – The Initiation of Totò
    Alberto Zambenedetti, University of Toronto

    84. Gomorrah: Scene Analysis – The Finale
    Monica Seger, William and Mary University

    Filmography

    Selected Bibliography

    Contributors

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