«Putting Italy back on the map». Diasporic Cinema Audiences in Post-war Sydney




Parole chiave:

Italian cinema audiences, Italian cinema, Migration, Post-war Sydney


In April 1961, the Sydney screening of Federico Fellini’s latest film La dolce vita (1960) broke all box office records, and the associated scandals attracted the attention of Sydney cinemagoers and the migrant and local press. Over two hundred thousand Italians had migrated to Australia by this time, creating a local demand for Italian film in theatres and within social and religious groups. This article examines the central role that film plays within the social and cultural lives of Italian migrant audiences and draws on a series of oral history interviews supplemented with film reviews from Italian and local newspapers and cinema industry journals. Cinema played an important role, not only in cultivating and maintaining cultural and national identity, but in establishing a new sense of italianità in 1960s Sydney.

Riferimenti bibliografici

Barr, Mischa

, Sex, art and sophistication: the meanings of ‘continental’ cinema in Sydney, Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 31, n. 1, March.

Barron, Emma

, Popular High Culture in Italian Media 1950-1970: Mona Lisa Covergirl, Palgrave, Cham.

Battistessa, Franco

, Reflections on a Dago, «La Fiamma», a. I, n. 10, 15 gennaio.

Bertrand, Ina; Giglio, Michael

, Cinema Italia: The Rise and Fall of Italian Language Cinemas in Melbourne, «Australian Scan: Journal of Human Communication», n. 4.

Biltereyst, Daniel; Maltby, Richard; Meers, Phillippe (eds.)

, Cinema Audiences and Modernity: New Perspectives on European Cinema History, Routledge, New York.

Bondanella, Peter

, Italian Cinema from Neorealism to the Present, F. Ungar, New York.

Bosworth, Richard

, Cop What Lot? A Study of Australian Attitudes Towards Mass Migration in the 1950s, Catholic Intercultural Resource Centre, North Fitzroy, Victoria.

Browne, Lindsay

, Orchids to Europeans, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 18 December.

Brunetta, Gian Piero

, Cent’anni di cinema italiano, 2 vols, Laterza, Roma/Bari.

Burnley, Ian

, The Geography of Ethnic Communities, in Shirley Fitzgerald, Gary Wotherspoon (eds.), Minorities: Cultural Diversity in Sydney, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney.

Castles, Stephen; Rando, Gaetano; Alcorso, Claudia; Vasta, Ellie (eds.) 1992, Australia’s Italians: Culture and Community in a Changing Society, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.

Collins, Jock

, Migrant Hands in a Distant Land: Australia’s Post-war Immigration, Pluto Press, Leichhardt (New South Wales).

, Cappuccino Capitalism: Italian Immigrants and Australian Business, in Stephen Castles, Gaetano Rando, Claudia Alcorso, Ellie Vasta (eds.), Australia’s Italians: Culture and Community in a Changing Society, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.

Comerio, Eva

, [s.t.], «La Fiamma», a. XV, n. 35, 9 maggio.

Cresciani, Gianfranco

, The Italians in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Fanchi, Mariagrazia; Mosconi, Elena (a cura di)

, Spettatori: forme di consumo e pubblici del cinema in Italia, 1930-1960, Marsilio, Venezia.

Forgacs, David

, Rome Open City (Roma città aperta), British Film Institute, London.

Hart, George

, New Films: George Hart, «The Sun», 1 November.

, What’s New in the Film World, «The Sun», 6 March.

Jupp, James

, The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of The Nation, Its People and Their Origins, Angus and Robertson, North Ryde (New South Wales).

Kent, David

, Australian Chart Book, Australian Chart Chronicles: 1940-2008, Australian Chart Book, Turramurra (New South Wales).

Kippax, H.G.

, Notes on Films: Boom in Rome, «The Sun Herald», Features, 5 June.

Kuhn, Annette

, An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory, I.B. Tauris, London.

La Barba, Morena

, Creative Nostalgia for an Imagined Better Future: “Il Treno del Sud” by the Migrant Filmmaker Alvaro Bizzarri, in Karen Niemeyer (ed.), Media and Nostalgia: Yearning for the Past Present and Future, Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Lento, Mattia

, The Italian Diaspora and the Impossibility of Home in Swiss Cinema, «Comunicazioni Sociali», a. XLIV, n. 2.

Maltby, Richard

, How Can Cinema History Matter More?, «Screening the Past», vol. 22.

Raft, George

, Beauties Fight an Uncivil War, «Argus», 13 December.

Ricatti, Francesco

, Italians in Australia: History, Memory, Identity, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Rickard, John

, Australia: A Cultural History, Longman, New York.


, Vade Mecum, «Il Giornale Italiano», a. XXVIII-X, 28 ottobre. 1943, Report by the Chief Censor on the Work of the Commonwealth Film Censorship for the Year 1943.

a, Destitute Migrants Flew with Bad Food, «The Sun», 12 December.

b, Three Million out of Work in Italy, «Tribune», 20 December.

c, Report by the Chief Censor on the Work of the Commonwealth Film Censorship for the Year 1947.

a, Roma città aperta, «Il Risveglio», a. IV, n. 93, 11 ottobre.

b, Guide to the Best Shows, «The Daily Telegraph», 30 October.

c, Roma città aperta, «Film», November.

d, New Films in Sydney, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 1 November.

e, National Box Office Survey, «Film Weekly», vol. 67, n. 1152,


f, Through the Smith’s Projector, «Smith’s Weekly», 6 November.

g, Amusements, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 30 December.

a, Italian Farmer Arrives Penniless in Australia, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 13 April.

b, Cinecittà rivals Hollywood, «La Fiamma», a. III, n. 9, English Section, 12 agosto.

c, Italian Film Preview, Vivere in pace, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 22 October.

d, Vivere in pace, «Film Weekly», vol. 71, n. 1202, 27 October.

e, Vivere in pace, Amusements, «Sydney Morning Herald», 1 December.

a, Italian Films, Different, Provoking, Advanced, «La Fiamma», a. IV, n. 90, English Section, 23 giugno.

b, Ladri di biciclette, «La Fiamma», a. IV, n. 102, 16 settembre.

c, National Box Office Survey, «Film Weekly», vol. 74, n. 1250, 5 October.

d, Bicycle Thieves, «Film Weekly», vol. 74, n. 1250, 5 October.

e, National Box Office Survey, «Film Weekly», vol. 74, n. 1254, 2 November.

, Report by the Chief Censor on the Work of the Commonwealth Film Censorship for the Year 1951.

, National Box Office Survey, «Film Weekly», 10 April.

, Gina Lollobrigida, «Australasian Post», 23 September.

a, Mercurial Magnani is Sex Appeal, «Truth», 11 July.

b, More Continental Films for ‘New’ Audience, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 29 September.

a, Effect of Immigrants on Picture Biz, «Film Weekly», vol. 89, n. 1472, 27 January.

b, Italian Film Festival, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 17 March.

c, Italian Film Festival Poster, «Film Weekly Supplement», vol. 89, n. 1479, 17 March.

d, DJs Italian Art Exhibition, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 15 June.

e, Festival of Italy, «Daily Telegraph», 16 June.

f, The House That Taglietti Built, «The Sydney Morning Herald», 22 June.

, Report of the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board.

a, Sophia Loren, «Il Corriere d’Australia», 2 gennaio.

b, Dove si va? Cinema Italiano, «La Fiamma», a. XI, n. 38, 30 agosto.

c, Dove si va? Cinema Italiano, «La Fiamma», a. XI, n. 44, 20 settembre.

a, National Box Office Survey, «Film Weekly», vol. 101, n. 1795, 4 May.

b, “La dolce vita” advertisements, «Il Corriere d’Australia», 9 maggio.

c, National Box Office Survey, «Film Weekly», vol. 101, n. 1804, 6 July.

d, “La dolce vita” advertisements, «Il Corriere d’Australia», 12 settembre.

e, You Too Can Make Money with Continental Product, «Film Weekly», vol. 101, n. 1827, 14 December.

a, La dolce vita, «People», 3 January.

b, [s.t.], «La Fiamma», vol. XVI, n. 98, 8 dicembre.

a, Summer Hill Theatre’s advertisement for Totò, «La Fiamma», a. XIX, n. 97, 7 dicembre.

b, Oreon’s advertisement for “Due notti con Cleopatra”, «La Fiamma», a. XIX, n. 98, 11 dicembre.

Sprio, Margherita

, Migrant Memories: Cultural History, Cinema and the Italian Post-War Diaspora in Britain, Peter Lang, Bern.

Staiger, Janet

, Media Reception Studies, New York University Press, New York.

Tavan, Gwenda

, Good Neighbours: Community Organisations, Migrant Assimilation and Australian Society and Culture, 1950-

, «Australian Historical Studies», vol. 27, n. 109.

Teo, Hsu-Ming; White, Richard (eds.) 2003, Cultural History in Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Randwick (New South Wales).

Terra, Italo

, Un film sensazionale di Fellini, «La Fiamma», a. XIII, n. 17, 27 Febbraio.

Treveri Gennari, Daniela

, Post-War Italian Cinema: American Intervention, Vatican Interests, Routledge, New York.

, «L’esercente industriale non scocci»: Mapping the tensions between commercial and Catholic exhibition in post-war Italy, «Schermi», a. II, n. 3, gennaio-giugno.

Treveri Gennari, Daniela; O’Rawe, Catherine; Hipkins, Danielle; Dibeltulo, Silvia; Culhane, Sarah (eds.) 2020, Italian Cinema Audiences: History and Memories of Cinema- going in Post-war Italy, Bloomsbury, London.

Tuart, Adrienne

, Discrimination and Desire: Italians, Cinema and Culture in Post-War Sydney, History MA, The University of Sydney.

Unitalia Film

, The Italian Production 1958, So. Gra.Ro., Roma.

Verhoeven, Deb

, Italian Cinema in Myrtleford a Wider Context, in John Taylor, Cynthia Troup (eds.), Parlato in Italiano: The Heyday of Italian Cinema in Myrtleford in the 1960s, Myrtleford and District Historical Society, Myrtleford, Victoria.





Monografico / Special Issue