Country: ITALY/FRANCE/WEST GERMANY
Blood in the Streets
In the Name of Love
To date The Celluloid Highway has yet to travel down the road of the Poliziotteschi, but I’m happy to correct that now with one of the major films of that sub-genre. It is instructive to note the different attitude that popular Italian culture has with the concept of genre. Genre as it is applied to cinema is largely speaking a Hollywood construct that aids in the marketing and differentiation of its product. Popular Italian forms of cinematic entertainment have a much more fluid relationship with each other. In the case of Poliziotteschi and Gialli for example we find a great deal of cross pollination and a mutual cynicism about both behaviour in a capitalist system, and the authorities that govern the system. The Italians prefer to use the term filone, viewing these films as popular cycles rather than discreet self contained genres. This may seem a peripheral point, but it requires the scholar to adjust one’s thinking when it comes approaching these films. These films were seen as cycles within popular cinema, and narrative rules and conventions of form are far more open to the interpretative imagination of a filmmaker. So whilst American cinema was undergoing a period of generic revisionism in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, this was always an inbuilt quality of these Italian film cycles.
© Shaun Anderson - 2010