Musicarello

The musicarello (plural: musicarelli) is a film subgenre which emerged in Italy and which is characterised by the presence in main roles of young singers, already famous among their peers, supported by comic actors.

The genre began in the fifties, and had its peak of production in the sixties. According to film critic Stefano Della Casa, the name "musicarello" is a reference to the successful Carosello.[1] The film which started the genre is considered to be I ragazzi del Juke-Box by Lucio Fulci.[2] At the heart of the musicarello is a hit song, or a song that the producers hoped would become a hit, that usually shares its title with the film itself and sometimes has lyrics depicting a part of the plot.[3] Unlike most film musicals, this subgenre has an evident age-based focus: while musical films had until that time had been produced in a way generally undifferentiated for tastes and ages, musicarello is explicitly targeted to a youthful audience and usually has in its plot a vague polemic against conformism and bourgeois attitudes.[1][4] The genre was referred to as a curious mix between fotoromanzi, traditional comedy, hit songs and tentative references to tensions between generations.[1] The key figures in this genre were directors Piero Vivarelli and Ettore Maria Fizzarotti, and actor-singers Gianni Morandi, Little Tony, Rita Pavone and Caterina Caselli.[2]

With the arrival of the 1968 student protests the genre started to decline, because the generational revolt became explicitly political and at the same time there was no longer a music equally directed to the whole youth-audience.[1] For some time the duo Al Bano and Romina Power continued to enjoy success in musicarello films, but their films (like their songs) were a return to the traditional melody and to the musical films of the previous decades.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e S. Della Casa, P. Manera, I musicarelli, in "Cineforum", 1991, 310
  2. ^ a b Lino Aulenti. Storia del cinema italiano. libreriauniversitaria, 2011. ISBN 886292108X.
  3. ^ Giuliano Pavone. Giovannona Coscialunga a Cannes. Tarab, 1999.
  4. ^ Lino Micciché. Storia del cinema italiano: 1960. Bianco & nero, 2001. ISBN 8831778412.

Further reading

  • Simone Arcagni, Dopo Carosello: il musical cinematografico italiano, Falsopiano, 2006. ISBN 888978203X.
  • Renato Venturelli, Nessuno ci può giudicare: il lungo viaggio del cinema musicale italiano, Fahrenheit 451, 1998. ISBN 8886095309.
  • Steve Della Casa, Paolo Manera, Il professor Matusa e i suoi hippies. Cinema e musica in Italia negli anni Sessanta, Bonanno, 2011. ISBN 8877967706.
  • Daniele Magni, Cuori matti - Dizionario dei musicarelli anni '60, Bloodbuster Edizioni, 2012. ISBN 9788890208775.
Aldo Grimaldi

Aldo Grimaldi (1942 – 5 August 1990) was an Italian director and screenwriter.

Born in Catania, the son of the director and screenwriter Giovanni Grimaldi, he started his career as an assistant director in the films of his father. He made his directorial debut in 1967 with the "musicarello" Nel sole, and then he became a specialist of the genre, often working with the couple formed by Al Bano and Romina Power. He also directed a number of commedie sexy all'italiana. He died of an incurable disease at 48.

Angeli senza paradiso

Angeli senza paradiso ("Angels without Paradise") is a 1970 Italian musicarello directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti. It is an unofficial remake of the 1933 film Leise flehen meine Lieder by Willi Forst.

Cantagiro

Cantagiro was an Italian summer festival held from 1962 to 1972 and 1990 to 1993. It featured three categories, A for famous artists, B for newcomers and C for groups. The creator of the competition was Ezio Radaelli. The name of the festival was a reference to the bicycle race Giro d'Italia, and, as the Giro, Cantagiro was organized as a stage race consisting of eleven or twelve daily stages, each set in a different city. A peculiar characteristic of the festival was that, while traveling between one stage and the other, singers were required to travel in an open car, to be at the disposal of the crowd of fans, otherwise risking fines or disqualification from the competition; accordingly the travel usually resolved into a huge crowd, with fans waiting their idols in every corner of the path.The festival was the main subject of two musicarello films, Urlo contro melodia nel Cantagiro 1963 (1964) and La più bella coppia del mondo (1967).

Chimera (1968 film)

Chimera is a 1968 Italian musicarello film directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti. The title is a reference to the Gianni Morandi's eponymous hit song.

Don't Sting the Mosquito

Don't Sting the Mosquito (Italian: Non stuzzicate la zanzara) is a 1967 Italian musicarello film directed by Lina Wertmüller (under the stage name George H. Brown). It is the sequel of Rita the Mosquito.

Ettore Maria Fizzarotti

Ettore Maria Fizzarotti (1916–1985) was an Italian film director and screenwriter.

Born in Naples, the son of the director Armando, he debuted as assistant director in the films of his father, and later collaborated with, among others, Vittorio Cottafavi and Raffaello Matarazzo. He made his directorial debut in 1964, with In ginocchio da te, a musicarello with Gianni Morandi which was panned by critics but which got a large commercial success. Fizzarotti then directed several films of the same genre, starring some of the most important Italian singers of the time. His career also include the Spaghetti Western I'll Sell My Skin Dearly and Sgarro alla camorra, the first sceneggiata film, which marked the film debut of Mario Merola.

Highest Pressure

Altissima pressione (Highest Pressure) is a 1965 Italian musicarello film directed by Enzo Trapani.

Howlers in the Dock

Howlers in the Dock (Italian: Urlatori alla sbarra) is a 1960 Italian musicarello film directed (and co-written) by Lucio Fulci. It is also known as Howlers of the Dock in some reference books.

Ma che musica maestro

Ma che musica maestro is a 1971 Italian musicarello film directed by Mariano Laurenti. It is loosely based on the William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

Mezzanotte d'amore

Mezzanotte d'amore (Italian for Midnight of love) is a 1970 Italian musicarello film directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti and starring Al Bano and Romina Power. It is the sequel of Il suo nome è Donna Rosa.

Mi vedrai tornare

Mi vedrai tornare (You will see me back) is a 1966 Italian musicarello film directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti. The title is a reference to the Gianni Morandi's eponymous song.

Non son degno di te

Non son degno di te is a 1965 Italian musicarello film directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti.

Per amore... per magia...

Per amore... per magia... (For Love... for Magic...) is a 1967 Italian musicarello-fantasy film directed by Duccio Tessari.

Piero Vivarelli

Piero Vivarelli (26 February 1927 – 7 September 2010) was an Italian film director, screenwriter and lyricist.

Born in Siena, after his father's death in 1942 at the hands of Yugoslav Partisans, at young age Vivarelli joined the Republic of Salò as a volunteer of the Decima Flottiglia MAS and milited for a short time in the Italian Social Movement. Later, from 1949 to 1990s, he was a militant of the Italian Communist Party, and was also the only Italian to receive by Fidel Castro the Communist Party of Cuba's membership card. Mainly active in genre films, he is regarded as a key figure in the musicarello genre. He was also active as a lyricist of pop songs, including several hits by Adriano Celentano.

Questo pazzo, pazzo mondo della canzone

Questo pazzo, pazzo mondo della canzone is a 1965 Italian musicarello film written and directed by Bruno Corbucci and Giovanni Grimaldi.

Rita the Mosquito

Rita the Mosquito (Italian: Rita la zanzara) is a 1966 Italian musicarello film directed by Lina Wertmüller (under the stage name George H. Brown). It has a sequel, Don't Sting the Mosquito.

Songs of Italy

Songs of Italy (Italian: Canzoni di tutta Italia) is a 1955 Italian musical film directed by Domenico Paolella and starring Marco Vicario, Rossana Podestà and Silvana Pampanini.It was shot in Ferraniacolor. It was one of several musicarello directed by Paolella.

Tears on Your Face

Tears on Your Face (Italian: Una lacrima sul viso) is a 1964 Italian musicarello film directed by Ettore Maria Fizzarotti. It is named after the Bobby Solo's hit song "Una lacrima sul viso".

The Crazy Kids of the War

The Crazy Kids of the War (Italian: La Feldmarescialla, French: La grosse pagaille) is a 1967 Italian-French musicarello film directed by Steno.

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