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Videocracy (2009)

Director(s): Erik Gandini

Theatrical Release: 2009

Cast: Erik Gandini, Lele Mora, Silvio Berlusconi, Fabio Calvi, Fabrizio Corona, Marella Giovannelli

Genre(s): Documentary, politics, media, business, culture, Dean's List

Countries: United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Finland


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Running Time: 85m.

Filmmaker Erik Gandini examines the twisted nexus of politics and junk culture that informs Italian television in this documentary. Silvio Berlusconi is the prime minister of Italy; he also owns and operates a private television outlet, Mediaset, as well as overseeing operations at RAI, Italy's state-run television network. As a result, Berlusconi has a hand in 90 percent of all television outlets currently broadcasting in the country. So to what degree is the prime minister responsible for the current state of Italian television, in which semi-nude women are a constant presence and intelligent political commentary is all but impossible to find? Videocracy ponders Berlusconi's place in the current Italian media environment, as well as profiling three characters who reflect the nation's cultural status quo. Ricky Canevali is a half-bright but handsome would-be pop star who is hoping his good looks and charisma will win out over his lack of talent in the eyes of the public. Lele Mora is a highly successful television agent who can help make anyone a star; he's also a close friend of Berlusconi who openly admires the leader, comparing him to another celebrated Italian politician, Benito Mussolini. And Fabrizio Corona is Italy's most celebrated paparazzo, an amoral celebrity photographer who is willing to sell his pictures to the highest bidder -- which is sometimes the stars themselves. Videocracy was an official selection at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival, where it was screened as part of the Critics Week program. (allmovie.com)
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