Filmmaker and the Milanese Independent Cinema of the 1980s and 1990s

Book chapter

Maraschin, D and Nasini, P (2017). Filmmaker and the Milanese Independent Cinema of the 1980s and 1990s. in: Cristiano, A and Coen, C (ed.) Experimental and Independent Italian Cinema Vancouver, Canada Edinburgh University Press.
AuthorsMaraschin, D and Nasini, P
EditorsCristiano, A and Coen, C

This chapter discusses a specific moment of Italian independent cinema which developed in Milan during the 1980s and 1990s via the venture of Filmmaker, a collective independent Festival of Film and Video that also acted as an enterprise via the production company Studio Equatore and operated as a lab for the development of young talents. The chapter discusses the interdisciplinary nature of the Milanese cinematic culture, with its links with intellectuals and artists from very different fields (including literature, theatre, publishing, architecture, visual, performing and traditional arts) as well as its links with the local industries. We address how the ‘politics of locations’ (Braidotti, 1994), including the virtual absence of state infrastructures to regulate the development of a film industry locally and the socio-cultural-economical-political milieu of the city, has shaped the specificity of both the cinematic culture and production modes of the Milanese independent cinema in general and of Filmmaker in particular. The chapter traces the emergence of a radical film and (video)art culture aimed at tackling meaningful social issues which countered the process of de-politization and the increase commercialisation of cultural products witnessed by Milan in 1980s and 1990s. One line of investigation also examines the political ‘impegno’ [commitment] that infiltrated the Milanese society from the 1970s, to address its long-lasting impact on the cinematic culture encouraged by Filmmaker. We argue that the genesis and development of Filmmaker in the 1980s and 1990s encapsulates the (difficult) journey of a group of filmmakers, producers and intellectuals into new forms of impegno, morphed from the Marxist monolithic idea of commitment that infiltrated the Milanese society during the 1970’s into a post-modern notion of commitment in which the attention to one single social agenda is fragmented and diversified into a number of specific issues (Burns, 2001; Antonello and Mussgnung, 2009). We examine the resistance of the Milanese independent cinema promoted by Filmmaker to both the national film industry based in Rome and to the local television and advertising industry, as well as its collisions with both the local industrial culture and the city’s experimental video and art circles. We also discuss the limits of the cinematic culture of Filmmakers in forming a New Wave in line with the cinematic New Waves which were flourishing on a global scale in many countries during the 1980s and 1990s.

Book titleExperimental and Independent Italian Cinema
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Place of publicationVancouver, Canada
Publication dates
Print01 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Nov 2017
Accepted05 Aug 2017
Web address (URL)
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
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