Monday, October 18, 2010
DVD Must-See: Erik Gandini's VIDEOCRACY, a jaw-dropping look at Italy's TV & politics
movie), the sexy and the sen-sual -- times ten. Get ready to have your preconceptions rattled by a documentary now out on DVD: VIDEOCRACY. If you've kept up on the doings of the current and seemingly-forever Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, shown on the poster at right, what the movie is saying may not come as a surprise. How it says this, however, is practically guaranteed to shake you up. Your first question, post-viewing, may be: How did the movie-maker manage to get such incendiary footage?
Erik Gandini, shown at left -- simply looks so much like the Eurotrash his movie covers that everyone simply assumed he was just part of the gang. (This is not necessarily a pejorative, Erik; Eurotrash can be quite appealing visually.) Gandini proves a good listener, too, and damned if he doesn't get his subjects, two of them in particular, to spill a pile of interesting beans. Being of Swedish/Italian ancestry, he also knows his Italian history and so plies us with just enough information to get us started down the road to.... well, you can barely imagine where.
Willie the Shake we know that "one may smile, and smile, and be a villain"), we come into very close contact with two gentlemen, both of whom are agents of a sort. One of these caters to the television world, finding "talent" wherever it may lie and grooming it for performance status. The other earns his lucrative living from the celebrities that these "talents" then become. He has their pictures taken by paparazzi in positions that range from unattractive to compromising, then he sells the photos -- not, as expected, to the media but to the actual celebs themselves, who want them kept from view.
Lele Mora -- seen above in his all-white bedroom like some latter-day Liberace-without-piano, and below, expounding on his love for Mussolini (if you made this character up from whole cloth, you couldn't create a richer picture of sleazy, would-be high-toned, right-wing entitlement) -- discovers Italy's hidden talent and then gooses it into celebrity mode.
Murdoch to Berlusconi. Did I mention that Silvio owns Italy's most popular TV stations, newspapers and magazines? This fact continues to turn Italy even further into a kind of Mediterranean-based banana republic.
veline," or showgirls (see above), on the ever popular TV programs. Even some older women have these same dreams: Consider the poor lady, below, who, as part of her audition, strips and dances up a (not quite) storm. The TV powers-that-be are less than impressed.
Fabrizio Corona, shown primping (above) and lounging (at right). Things go swimmingly for awhile, until Corona runs afoul of the government (and perhaps his mentor), is prosecuted for extortion and ends up doing a short prison term, during which he figures out a plan to increase his fame and his coffers. It works, and before you can say, "Aren't you the exhibitionist!" Corona is bragging about himself and his life and then taking a shower in full view of the filmmaker's camera, massaging his large member, full-frontal and semi-erect, and enjoying every second of it. (I have to admit,
I was, too).
Comcast/NBC/Universal merger, here we come!
Videocracy, via the increasingly vital company Lorber Films, is available now for sale -- or rental at Netflix, Greencine or Blockbuster.