Daily News header

Videocracy Movie Review: Italy As Idiot Box Theme Park Nation

By     get stories by email

If you think television significantly lowers a country's collective IQ, imagine a nation as a vast idiot box theme park, whose prime minister is also the reigning media empire mogul. Such is the unfortunate case of Italy for some time now, under the tight control of notorious but teflon coated, seemingly immune from prosecution right wing entertainment czar, Silvio Berlusconi. And to such an extent that the trailer for Erik Gandini's Videocracy, an investigative documentary exposť of corruption, collusion and conflict of interest under the Berlusconi administration, was in effect banned from all television stations prior to its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last year.

Gandini, renowned for his documentary uncovering scandals at Guantanamo detention camp, as well as Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers, takes viewers along on a disturbing journey through Italian culture, where little distinction between politics and the media remains. An unholy alliance that began thirty years ago, when Berlusconi began a late night sleazy quiz show, in which masked housewives stripped on air in response to participants correctly answering riddles. And that now extends to his nearly total power over his own Mediaset conglomerate, as well as political control over the state run RAI TV Channels.

Videocracy Movie

And, with a concurrent lurid exploitation of women that evolved into a regular practice of half naked females known as veline, assigned to dance suggestively in silence as host wallpaper, on Berlusconi's shows. And whenever Berlusconi - by far the wealthiest and most powerful man in the country - is up for reelection, he airs candidate sing-alongs on his channels, with lyrics that go something like: 'Thank God Silvio Exists!'

Gandini also spends time with Burlusconi media elite accomplices, penetrating their luxurious haunts and female meat market Billionaires Club. Including enormously wealthy PR agent Lele Mora, who brags to Gandini about his affection for Burlusconi, but who can't compare to Mussolini. And while playing Mussolini hymns for the filmmaker on his cell phone, tunes accompanied by photos of swastikas. Then there's Fabrizio Corona, a ruthless king of the paparazzi currently imprisoned for celebrity extortion, who brags on camera that he's a new and improved Robin Hood because 'I steal from the poor, and give to myself.'

Videocracy is a scary extreme celebrity vision of a soulless national, politicaly run television culture lacking heart or humanity, and never quite seen in such a sad, dumbed down ruthless context before. Or as one revealing observer puts it: 'The important thing is to gain power, and do whatever you want.'

Kino Lorber Films
Unrated
3 stars

Watch more free documentaries

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the Documentary Film 'The Address'. Williams gives the documentary 4 stars and says it is a current-day, Ken Burns PBS production every bit as moving as any of his nostalgic classics.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams gives the film, Small Time 3 stars. He said it is very good and realistic, a slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who's understandably torn between moving on with his life.
Kam Williams reviews The Railway Man, an introspective story of Eric Lomax, one of 60,000+ POWs forced to build the Burma Railway, known as the Death Railway, because so many died.
Movie review Kam Williams interviews Bridget Moynahan about the movie Small Time. Here she talks about the coming-of-age drama co-starring Christopher Meloni, Devon Bostick and Dean Norris.
Prairie Miller talks to filmmaker Lars von Trier discussing what this work in progress several years ago at Cannes, may or may not have to do with Hitler, heresy, hedonism and existential despair - before being booted from the festival.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site