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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Cyberhills of Isolation and Connection: Italy in the Time of Coronavirus

Ironically, the very thing many have lamented as chief atomizer of humankind, social media, has proven to be indispensable for bringing us together — and for bringing me solace while, like Boccaccio's women in Decameron, I wait out the pandemic in the hills of Abruzzo.

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Music

The Tapes: Selected Works 1982-1992

For a sampling of daring, unique underground industrial music from the Mediterranean, this is a document well worth studying and enjoying.

Music

Area: 11 April 2014 - London

The passing time has left the band’s musicianship untouched, so much so that one could be forgiven for occasionally thinking that, outside, on the now dark streets of London, the IRA is still planting car bombs.

Music

Raging Fires: O'Priò’s “La Deposizione”

Italian rapper O'Priò fires off a missive to a former crime boss and sheds light on environmental disaster.

Books

Beyond the Beard and the Birdbath: André Vauchez's 'Francis of Assisi'

André Vauchez's presentation of this Umbrian knight turned "poor and begging" imitator of Christ proves as fascinating and debatable as the Man from Galilee whom the Poor Man of Assisi tried to emulate.

Music

Niagara: Otto

Italian pop duo Niagara are still trying on musical hats on their debut LP, Otto. They've yet to find the perfect fit.

Music

Jovanotti: Italia: 1988-2012

Italy's beloved star makes his proper American debut with an affecting compiliation of some of his most compelling work.

Reviews

A Rarely Exhumed Film that Should Stay Buried: 'Plot of Fear'

Plot of Fear is a screamingly mediocre piece of work, of dubious interest to even the most obsessed and completist fans of vintage giallo

Music

Giardini di Miro: Good Luck

Fifth overall album, first since 2005, and one that will leave us satisfied until the next one comes along.

Jedd Beaudoin
Reviews

The Other End of the Ideological Spectrum of Suffering: 'La Terra Trema'

A groundbreaking, long-unavailable classic by the father of Italian neorealism, Luchino Visconti.

Film

When Being Born Somewhere DOESN'T Automatically Make You a Citizen

18 IUS SOLI is an upcoming documentary that exposes the hardships of Italy's policy of “jus sanguinis”, meaning that one’s place of birth does not determine one’s citizenship, but rather this is determined by one’s lineage.

Reviews

In 'The Day Before Happiness', Naples Hosts a Poetic Story of an Orphan Coming of Age Post WWII

Erri De Luca’s writing is a tender poetic narrative, treating things (Naples, the air itself) like characters, and weaving together a story comprised of waves of feeling instead of orderly plot points.

Music

Benny Benassi: Electroman

No number of star guest appearances can save the Italian DJ and producer's new record from the mediocrity of its fundamentals.

Andy Johnson
Music

Mamuthones: Mamuthones

Italy's Mamuthones, which includes members of psych-rock band Jennifer Gentle, releases a less than inviting, self-titled third albm.

Books

Botticelli, Sandwiches Outside and Dreams of Bradbury's 'Dandelion Wine'

Boxed in by bandage-colored cubicle walls in downtown Manhattan, my thoughts drift to sweet days in Florence and Rome, and to lines in Ray Bradbury’s ‘Dandelion Wine’.

Reviews

'Amarcord': What Evil Lurks Beneath the Absurd Surface

Federico Felleni's remembering makes for a combined dream, a whitewashed history, and a striking portrait of a small Italian town during the rise of Fascism.

Reviews

'The American' Is a Thoughtful, Deceptively Spare Work Rife with Political Intrigues

Jack is hardly the protypical "Ugly American", but he is an "American", with all that that signifies to the skeptical Left.

Reviews

'Girl by the Lake': An Excellent Premise for a Classic Detective Story

Andrea Molaioli displays the confidence of a veteran filmmaker and lets the story play out without resorting to overly clever techniques.

Film

New Moon: Wherefor Art Thou Edward?

Bella and Edward's longing for each other is what makes the series so appealing. It fully encapsulates the bliss and agony of first love or any love that would make you lie down and die for the other person.

Film

Why, Spike, Why?

For all of Spike Lee's status as the eternal Young Turk, he's also a moviemaker who came of age just a few years after the brat pack of Spielberg, Scorsese, de Palma, et al.

Books

The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson

Relying on military histories and documents, the private letters and diaries of generals and front-line soldiers, news accounts and interviews, Atkinson creates a seamless, stunning narrative that is the equal of An Army at Dawn.

Thomas Peele
Books

Garibaldi: Citizen of the World by Alfonso Scirocco

These two major new studies assess the most famous Italian of the 19th century, who once was, according to Englishman Philip Gilbert Hamerton in 1870, "the most famous man on the planet."

Carlin Romano
Books

Vivaldis Virgins by Barbara Quick

What Quick has produced is an unwieldy mix of romance novel and character study, the latter standing out vividly, like Technicolor footage in a black-and-white film.

Frank Wilson
Music

Putumayo: Women of the World

Despite the different springs feeding into these women's inspirational homes, the album is successful at uniting these unique, accomplished musicians.

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