NewsBlaze search box 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

Interesting movies for May 2015, opened May 15. They include the two big budget films, Max Max: Road Fury and Pitch Perfect 2. Remakes are still in vogue.
Vivica A. Fox, Tyson Beckford and Robert Ri'chard talk about a remake of Magic Mike in which a cash-strapped college kid hides his job as an exotic dancer.
Watch these movies before the end of May, especially Chocolate City, the remake of the 1982 Poltergeist and the sci-fi flick, Tomorrowland.
The documentary film focuses on the lives of underpaid workers at Manhattan's Hot & Crusty (H&C) bakery where the Latino staff members are underpaid and their complaints are not heard.
A conversation with actor Dolph Lundgren delves into combating global sex trafficking as an action hero on screen, trading in brains for brawn as a former Fulbright Scholar
This spring alone, Zoe has a half-dozen films released in theaters, including the blockbusters Insurgent and Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as Good Kill, The Road Within, Dope and Treading Water. Here, she talks about life and about her latest movies.

 

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