Thursday, March 17, 2011

150th anniversary of Italian unification

The 150th anniversary of Italian unification will be celebrated on 17 March.

The official website of the celebrations is: (in Italian)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Symposium on Contemporary Italian Cinema (Indiana University, Bloomington,April 14-16)

Symposium on Contemporary Italian Cinema

The second annual Simposio sul Cinema Italiano Moderno e Contemporaneo (Symposium on Modern and Contemporary Italian Cinema) will take place April 13-16, 2011, at Indiana University in Bloomington. The event, organized by IU's Department of French and Italian, will feature several films, documentaries, and shorts as well as numerous presentations. Scholars and film fans from across the country and around the world will discuss many aspects of modern and contemporary Italian production.

Luchino Visconti’s "Death in Venice" (Brookline, February 21)

The Coolidge Corner Theatre will present legendary Italian director Luchino Visconti’s 1971 Death in Venice on Monday, February 21 at 7pm. In Visconti’s lush and haunting version of Thomas Mann’s novella, an artist obsessed by his ideal of physical and spiritual beauty jeopardizes his own life to be near the object of his desire. Playing Count Aschenbach, Dirk Bogarde embodies the outwardly civilized and meticulously reserved composer as he takes a rest cure in Edwardian Venice. The dichotomy between the intellectual and the sensual is brought to the fore by Aschenbach’s first glimpse of the beautiful young Tadzio, unleashing a secret obsession. The Count’s fascination with the youth’s physical perfection is mirrored in Visconti's masterful visual style.

This presentation is part of the Coolidge’s ongoing Science on Screen series. Before the film, guest speaker Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard University Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative and a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the science of beauty. Dr. Etcoff has conducted research on the perception of beauty, emotion, well-being, and the brain for over 20 years. Her critically acclaimed popular science book, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty has been published in over a dozen languages, and was the subject of a one-hour Discovery Channel program.

Tickets: $9.75 general admission/$7.75 students and Museum of Science members, and free for Coolidge members. For more information and advance tickets, visit

Monday, January 17, 2011

Staging the Outlandish and Clowning the Lyrical Legacy and Transformation of the Commedia dell’Arte (Toronto, January 22, 2011)

Conference Sponsored by The Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies and The Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto

9:00 AM Welcome

9:15 AM Session 1
Erith Jaffe-Berg, University of California – Riverside
"Mediterranean Cartographies in Commedia dell'Arte"

Clarissa Hurley, University of New Brunswick
"The Lyrical Ugly: Commedia dell'Arte and the Aesthetics of the Grotesque"

Rosalind Kerr, University of Alberta
"Flaminio Scala's Fake (Lesbian) Husbands and Palimpsestic Performance Texts"

10: 45 AM Break

11:00 AM Session 2
Kyna Hamill, Boston University
"Venetians Don’t Ride Horses!"

Paul Stoesser, University of Toronto
"Harlequin's Slapstick"

Keith Johnston, University of Toronto
"Commedia dell'Arte in Music? The Case of the Comic Intermezzo"

12:30 PM Lunch

1:30 PM Session 3
Elisa Segnini, Dalhousie University
"On Ephemeral Theatre. Reflections on the Author-Actors of Early Twentieth Century Pantomime"

Veronika Ambros, University of Toronto
"Commedia dell’Arte in Bohemia. Transformations and their Functions"

Gabrielle Houle, University of Toronto
"Of Masks and Legacy: Giorgio Strehler's 1990 Staging of The Servant of Two Masters"

3:00 PM Break

3:15 PM Session 4
Guillaume Bernardi, Glendon College-York University
"Commedia dell’Arte and French Classical Tragedy: Between Historically Informed Performance and Directorial Vision"

Gian Giacomo Colli, Franklin and Marshall College
"Performing Commedia dell'Arte: Practicing vs Rehearsing"

Donato Santeramo, Queen’s University
"Gordon Craig: The ├ťbermarionette and The Commedia dell’Arte"

Caryl Clark, University of Toronto
"Revising Pantalone: Jewish Representation in Goldoni's and Haydn's 'Lo speziale'"

5:15 PM Closing Remarks Domenico Pietropaol

January 22, 2011
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Robert Gill Theatre
Koffler Student Centre
214 College Street, 3rd Floor

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amnesia and Remembrance (Boston, January 30, 2011)

A commemoration of Italian Holocaust Remembrance Day will feature the critically acclaimed 2003 Italian film "Facing Windows," starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno e Massimo Girotti. Before the film, Professor Nancy Harrowitz (Boston University) will present a lecture entitled, "Making the Past the Present," and Professor Virginia Picchietti (Univeristy of Scranton) will speak on 'Memory of Italian Shoah and Ferzan Ozpetek's "Open Windows."'
The film will be shown at 12:45 and followed by a round table discussion with Virginia Picchietti, Nancy Harrowitz and John Bernstein.

January 30, 2011

Boston University, George Sherman Union Conference Auditorium
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Sponsorred by Boston University and the Consulate General of Italy in Boston, in collaboration with the American Jewish Committee and the Consulate Heneral of Israeel to New England.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Risorgimento of the Jews, “the dream of a homeland for the free and equal”

* The second article of “Star of David and the Italian Flag, Jews and the construction of Italy”, the initiative promoted by CulturaItalia [the Website of Italian culture] in collaboration with the Judaica Europeana project to celebrate 150 years of Italian Unity, is online: Ester Capuzzo: the Risorgimento of the Jews, “the dream of a homeland for the free and equal” [CulturaItalia - Un patrimonio da esplorare]

* Previous post

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Female self portraits (Florence, 12/17/10-1/30/11)

Autoritratte (Female self portraits)
“Artiste di capriccioso e destrissimo ingegno” (Lady artists of inspired and most dextrous ingenuity)
Florence, Uffizi Gallery, Sala delle Reali Poste, from Dec. 17, 2010 until Jan. 30, 2011

"Eighty female self portraits – sixty from the Vasarian Corridor and from the repositories and the twenty new ones brought in for the exhibition – lead us to reflect on the meagre 7% represented by the self portraits by women, lost amidst the vast Uffizi collection as a whole, now numbering 1,700 artists’ self portraits.
It was extensive reflections on these figures that triggered the research that has been translated into a chronological display itinerary which – in addition to fostering an interpretation through names and numbers of the historically subordinate condition of women artists, at length confined to areas that limited their expressive capacities, at least in comparison to the opportunities offered to men – also led to the inclusion of portraits of female artists from the seventeenth century up to the present, selecting works variously illustrative of quality, naivety, academism or fashions, but frequently also strokes of genius.

Strikingly, the Uffizi collection numbers some of the female artists who were acknowledged as worthy of mention between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century. A few who managed to emerge at that time, a considerable number fully recognised today, and a few to be restored to the light of lost identity or fame, as in the case of Maria Hadfield Cosway, whose youthful self portrait has recently been identified in the portrait of an unknown young lady.
Starting with the mirror self portraits which, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century tended to be admired because apparently produced “by the brush of a man of outstanding talent rather than that of a woman”, we arrive – also through the use of the new media – at the attempt at mimesis and deconstruction of the identity that traversed the twentieth century, rendering the image no longer a duplication of the model but rather its equivalent.
The ‘disrespectful’ number of contemporary female portraits, which failed to reflect the actual evolution of the arts in the twentieth century, led us to request new self portraits from women artists in Italy and abroad of our own times – also with a view to updating and to the future of the Collection; they responded with enthusiastic and generous donations. Carla Accardi, Vanessa Beecroft, Mirella Bentivoglio, Nadia Berkani, Antonella Bussanich, Lynne Curran, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Niki de Saint Phalle, Maril├╣ Eustachio, Esther Ferrer, Giosetta Fioroni, Jenny Holzer, Yayoi Kusama, Ketty La Rocca, Lucia Marcucci, Elisa Montessori, Patti Smith, Tinca Stegovec, Alison Watt and Francesca Woodman. The twenty new self portraits hence assume a symbolic role of offsetting, exemplifying the myriad shifts of thought and style which, through both new and traditional media – painting, sculpture, drawing, tapestry, photography, visual poetry and video – made the just-closed century so fertile and did so precisely through the endeavours of a host of determined and committed women, eminently capable of expressing their creative ingenuity."

* Article by Valeria Ronzani [Il Sole 24 Ore]