Dr Mattia Lento

University of Oxford – Swiss National Science Foundation 

Italians have been a folk of poeti, santi, navigatori and migrants: the number of people who have left the country from 1861 onwards is indeed substantial. Cinema has played an important role in the definition, negotiation or reformulation of the Italian identity across the world. On the one hand, Italian migration has become a topic of many international films; on the other hand, Italian migrants themselves have made use of cinema to assert their own identity or to counteract the exclusion, the alienations and the injustice caused by strict laws or the xenophobic attitude of the receiving societies. In An Accented Cinema, Hamid Naficy analyses the filmmaking of displaced and exiled individuals, focusing on how their personal experiences translate into identifiable film aesthetics. By combining cultural and postcolonial studies with a medium-specific and aesthetical approach, it opens up an original perspective. Drawing on Naficy’s ground-breaking research on diasporic cinema, this talk considers the characteristics, leitmotifs and topoi of a selection of films directed by Italian migrants from different parts of the world after WWII. It focuses in particular on films by Alvaro Bizzarri, Giorgio Mangiamele and Pino Esposito to outline some peculiarities of the Italian accented cinema and its connection with the cultural history of the Italian diaspora. A short film, The Spag (Unreleased version by Giorgio Mangiamele, 1960, 25’, Australia), will be shown during the talk.

About the speaker:

Mattia Lento is Early Postdoc Mobility Fellow at the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Visiting Research Fellow at the Pembroke College (University of Oxford). Mattia holds a double PhD in Film Studies from the University of Zurich and the University of Milan. He has taught courses on film experience and film acting at the University of Zurich. His main research interests include the relationship between Italian diaspora and international cinema. He has attended different international conferences and has published academic articles and book chapters in English, German and Italian. His PhD thesis will be published in 2016 by ETS. He also works as free-lance journalist for the Italian Swiss Radio (RSI/SRG-SSR).

The event is free and open to the public. Non-University of Westminster attendees please register with Cangbai Wang at [email protected].